Flu cases on the rise in the East Bay

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Cases of the flu are on the rise in the East Bay according to medical experts at Kaiser Walnut Creek. (KGO-TV )

Cases of the flu are on the rise in the East Bay.

"We are now seeing rates of positivity for influenza that actually exceed last year, and last year was the worst year we've had in the past ten" said Kaiser Walnut Creek's Dr. Randy Bergen.

Dr. Bergen adds that the virus is spreading across all age groups, "as a result of that we're seeing higher hospitalization rates, busy emergency rooms, as well as our call centers working about of 150-percent of where they normally are at this point."

Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, joint pain, and congestion.

People who don't have it often know someone who does, like nurse Cindy Lucas,"my daughter is sick back in Atlanta and my son is sick. Both of them are grown."

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Even hospitals are not immune according to employee Arnella Bohana, "It's a lot of people out sick right now with the flu. We're short everywhere in the hospital."

That's why hospital workers are advised to get a flu shot, if their doctor says it's okay.

Dr. Bergen recommends that every healthy person get the shot. He says even if it doesn't ward off the virus it could make the illness shorter and less debilitating.

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"If you have emphysema, if you have a chronic medical condition, it certainly is possible you could be sick enough to need IV hydration, that you even need admission to the hospital," said Dr. Berger

If you feel especially bad, or have any doubts, by all means, go to the E.R.

VIDEO: Tips for preventing the flu

But for most people, rest, fluids and over the counter flu medicine will help alleviate flu symptoms.

Staying home from work and frequent hand washing will also help prevent its spread.

Click here for more stories and tips regarding flu season.
Related Topics:
healthfluflu preventionflu seasoncoldhealth carehospitalWalnut Creek
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