Flu Sickness On Rampage In Rusk County

At Strong- Hurt pharmacy in downtown Henderson, prescriptions for flu like symptoms are filling non- stop. "I was sick with the flu for a few days. I thought it was just a cold. I finally had to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics because it got bad," said Henderson resident Leslie Newton. "I have a father whose elderly and his mother is 95-years-old.  They both had flu shots and they've both suffered the flu this year," said Gordon Parris.

Henderson Memorial Hospital's emergency room normally sees a 1,000 patients a month. But now, they're seeing more than 1200 patients a month. E. R. Director, Scott Lawrence, M.D. says the virus is spreading so fast, they've had to send people to other hospitals.  "We're primarily seeing fever and body aches, that's probably the major symptoms of the flu," he said.

So, how is it that patients who have their flu shots, still get sick? "When we produce the shot it's done way in advance and a lot of times the mutation is so rapid that the shot we give isn't specific enough to the flu.

At Central Elementary school in Henderson, teachers are not taking any chances, doing whatever they can to keep students, and themselves, flu free. "We use sanitary wipes. Our teachers wipe the desk down daily and the door knobs. We always make sure everyone washes their hands," said Joy Pipes, R. N. at Central Elementary.

Hand washing and sanitizing--two good ways to stay away from the flu.

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting. lshockley@kltv.com