University of Kansas Hospital: Don't underestimate the flu

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's winter time, which means holidays and folks in close quarters as they visit family and friends. Add in traveling in cars and airplanes where air is stagnant and it is easy to see how the risk of catching the flu is rising daily.

In fact, the University of Kansas Hospital reported to 41 Action News the number of flu cases has been rising since Thanksgiving.

A man died this week while being treated at the University of Kansas Hospital for complications with the flu. His age and the exact date of his death were not made available to us.

In addition, a 2-year-old child and 6-month-old baby were hospitalized recently after contracting the flu.

"The younger and the older patients are the ones that are most likely to be severely affected by it," said Doctor Lee Norman, the Chief Medical Officer at KU Hospital. "But any age can get it and it's just not really easy to predict who is going to do real well and who isn't.

"Don't underestimate hand washing and staying home. If you have loved ones that have fever, aches and chills and the things that go along with influenza, they should not try to tough it out. They should try to stay home," he added.

The simplest solution is to get a flu shot. It's easy, almost painless and, in all actuality, could save your life. Norman said it's not too late to get your flu shot. Two or three days after, your body could have what it needs to fight off this year's flu strain.

"Flu is never to be under estimated," Norman said. "There are tens of thousands of deaths every year from the flu."

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