Hospital Visits Up for Adults and Kids Reporting Flu Symptoms in Miami-Dade

This year's flu has been causing more people to go to the emergency room and is affecting more adults and children in South Florida than at this time last year.

Dr. Gary Kramer has been treating three to 10 kids a day for the flu at his Coral Gables office, and says he hasn't seen an outbreak like this in eight years.

"It has been a very busy flu season," Kramer said. "This has probably been one of the busier years with the flu since the H1N1 swine flu epidemic."

And the doctor knows what it feels like. He caught the flu himself two weeks ago. It was his first day off sick in 15 years.

"By the early afternoon I had a headache, I had body aches, I had a fever, I had watery eyes, I had heavy feeling sinuses, muscular aches," Kramer said.

Cases are on the rise throughout the state and in South Florida, including more than three minor outbreaks in Miami-Dade. Plus, more people have been showing up at local emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms over the past two weeks, compared with 2016.

It's Isabel Griffin's job to track and investigate cases for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade.

"We're seeing an increase in comparison to last year of more people going this time of year, especially children. So something's definitely circulating, I’m sure the weather is not helping," Griffin said.

Griffin says it's not too late to get a flu shot. And if you do have symptoms, they urge anyone to stay home from work or school until they're fever free for at least 24 hours.

The actual numbers of flu cases are under reported because a lot of people don't go to a doctor, they try to ride it out at home. Doctors say it's too early to determine how this year's flu will compare overall to previous years.

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