Influenza and Norovirus cases fill Mid-Michigan hospitals

Doctors say it's not too late to get flu vaccinations to protect your self against the flu. But there is a new virus sending patients to hospitals in droves.

"Past few days we have been very busy as have all the hospitals around," said Genesys Dr. Sanford Ross.

Coughing, fever, muscle aches and nausea are symptoms seen in many Mid-Michigan emergency rooms, but this yearâ??s diagnosis isn't typical.

"We call it the flu, but itâ??s really influenza virus a or b," said Covenant Dr. Marilyn Staines.

The spread of influenza a and b is being limited by vaccinations; however, the Norovirus is a separate ailment and it's causing emergency rooms to fill up.

"Norovirus is not a strain that is vaccinated against,â?? said Dr. Ross.

Norovirus may feel like the flu but it causes nausea and diarrhea rather than influenza symptoms that cause a high fever and coughing.

Even though there is no vaccination for Norovirus precautions are the same for both illnesses.

"Washing hands, covering your mouth, you know washing surfaces and wearing a mask if you are ill so you are not spreading it," said Dr. Staines.

"If you are sick please don't go to work or school, don't send your kids to school until they are feeling better or aren't contagious," said Dr. Ross.

Unfortunately there is no defining line whether you should stay or visit a hospital but doctors say, if you canâ??t stay hydrated its time to visit the emergency room.