WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
This flu season is getting an early start, and spreading fast, with Illinois one of the hardest hit states. Because so many patients with flu-like symptoms are flooding emergency rooms in Chicago, several hospitals are on what's called "bypass status", where the hospitals are turning away ambulances with non-emergency cases, and directing them to other hospitals with fewer patients.
"It definitely feels like our volume has been heavy this year, and I think we're feeling that everywhere," says Rush University Medical Center Dr. Stephanie Wang.
Around 150 people have been admitted to intensive care units in the area with the flu so far this season, and 6 have died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois is among 29 states reporting high flu activity. 41 states reporting widespread geographic flu activity for the week that ended December 29.
"So, we're seeing an early spike, at least compared to the past 5 or 6 years, this is very early and we don't know what the peak is yet," says Director of Emergency Medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital Dr. Glenn Druckenbrod.
U.S. health officials say the strain of influenza virus going around this year has been linked to more hospital admissions and deaths. One of the lingering questions includes why this season has been so bad, so early.
"There's some theories out there, I don't think anyone knows for sure the answer to that question," says Dr. Wang. "Sometimes you've got to wait for the whole flu season to complete it's course to be able to reflect back."
One theory: people are going to work, or school, with the flu, spreading the virus.
"So, we really recommend people stay home until they no longer have a fever and have not been coughing for at least a 24 hour period," says Dr. Wang.
Health officials around the country agree that it is not too late to get a flu shot, and if you haven't gotten one, getting one would be a really good idea this season.
Wednesday, January 9 2013, 11:24 PM CST
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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