LEHIGHTON -- Flu season isn't slowing down in Carbon County. In fact, it's ramping up at St. Luke's Gnaden Huetten Campus in Lehighton.
"I was here at least three weeks ago in the emergency room with a relative of mine and I was just amazed at the amount of people that were there already because of flu-like symptoms," said Judy Nansteel, Lehighton.
Steven Albrich is a physicians assistant at the hospital. He says this year, they are seeing more patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms than they have beds in the emergency room.
"This time of the year, there is a rise in sick visits because of the flu, strep throat and the GI bug that goes around so we get inundated at times and certainly our beds fill up and it creates a delay in taking care of patients," said Albrich.
Physicians at this hospital say cases of the flu have worsened over the last few weeks and on some days they can see up to 20 patients.
Albrich says doctors are seeing patients of all ages and encourage people who develop flu-like symptoms to get checked.
"The symptoms come on really quick and it's usually fevers, chills, sore throat body aches, some people are getting nausea and vomiting with it as well. I think depending on what strain, but those are the most common ones we are seeing with the flu," said Albrich.
Judy Nansteel is one of many people who get the flu shot each year.
She can't believe how many people have come down with the virus already this year.
"I feel badly for a lot of these hospitals because they are so overwhelmed," said Nansteel.
Physicians say they are also prescribing more Tamiflu this year to help shorten the virus for those who get the flu.
For those who haven't, you're encouraged to wash your hands and keep away from those who might be showing symptoms.