71
      Thursday
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      Friday
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      Saturday
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      Area hospitals react to flu infection

      Last years flu season peaked in March. Recent flu related deaths and high infection numbers are causing concern.

      "It may lead to death, that's the downside of this,?? said Saint Mary??s Infection Control Nurse Karen Hoover.

      Saint Mary's hospital is preparing for the flu. Asking children under 14 not to enter, keeping visitor numbers down and isolating patients suffering from flu like symptoms.

      "So that anyone that was going into the is wearing a mask so their covering their nose and their mouth,?? said Hoover.

      Saginaw county department of public health says flu infection numbers are up from this time last year, urging residents to get a vaccine.

      "90 percent of the flu that has been identified in the country and in Michigan as well is a strain covered by the current vaccine,?? said Saginaw Health Officer John McKellar.

      Children and elderly are most at risk.

      ??Those two age categories we are looking at potentially at young people and older people dieing,?? said Hoover.

      Hospitals in Genesee County are taking the same precautions for anyone who thinks they are sick.

      "Stay home don't go to school, don't go to work. If you have a loved one in the hospital please don't come visit them,?? said physician Ross Sanford.

      The problem local hospitals face is making it difficult to stop the spread of infection.

      "Unfortunately, with the flu virus you can transmit the virus before you even know you are ill," said Hoover.

      It's unclear whether this years flu is peaking now or could get worse.

      ??It's just a matter of wait and watch and see how it goes. In the mean time just try to get everyone education on the importance of how you can prevent the transmission," said Hoover.

      No deaths have been reported in Saginaw County. And if you are interested in getting a flu shot officials say this years supply has not been an issue.

      The Saginaw County Health Department is issuing vaccinations. Schedule the best time to visit at their website http://www.saginawpublichealth.org/page.asp?ID=376.