As Flu Worsens In Wichita, Professionals Urge Public To Vaccinate

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Health officials across the nation are dealing with a widespread flu outbreak. In Boston, the outbreak is so widespread, city officials have declared an emergency.

The situation isn't as dire in Kansas, but hospitals are dealing with a large number of patients. Wesley Medical Center Infection Prevention Nurse Lois Rahal tells KAKE News that the hospital has seen a large number of patients with the flu.

"We've seen over 80 patients with Influenza A and 10 more or so with influenza B."

Rahal says that is way above normal than what a hospital will normally experience this early in the year. The intensive care unit is full patients and Wesley Medical Center is diverting some patients to other hospitals due to the outbreak.

A spokeswoman for Via Christi Hospitals says they haven't had to divert patients yet, but they are getting patients from several rural hospitals across Kansas and Oklahoma.

Rahal says visitors need to stay away from hospitals. In the meantime, she recommends everyone gets a flu shot.

It may take a few weeks to build up an immunity, but Rahal says it can still be effective. Some locations in the country are running low on vaccinations, but the Wichita-area is not experiencing a shortage.

Officials say a doctor's office or pharmacy may be temporarily out and awaiting a new supply, but you can shop around for the vaccine.

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