ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Influenza is hitting the Chicago area hard, with nearly 150 people admitted to intensive care units and six deaths.

Now a local emergency medicine specialist at SSM DePaul Health Center says the hospital is opening a special unit to handle the overflow of flu patients.

“We’re running close to 200 patients a day for the past four or five days,” ED clinical director Jon Caron said. “It’s about a fifteen percent increase over what we typically see, ten to fifteen percent.”

Caron says not all of those are flu-related illnesses but a significant number are.

“We’re just seeing high volumes of patients in general but subjectively, as we look at the number of patients who were able to be discharged, a lot of patients are coming in with those flu-like symptoms,” he said.


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