Lehigh Valley

Extra precautions taken as flu virus fiercely spreads

Doctors at St. Luke's Hospital say they have diagnosed thousands of flu cases across the 10-hospital network.

The numbers of diagnosed cases are so high that Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, infectious disease specialist for the St. Luke's Health Network, is calling it the worst flu season in the last 10 years.

"I would certainly classify it as an epidemic," added Jahre.

So many cases that local school directors are taking extra precautions by wiping down tables and chairs with cleaner every few hours, and stressing the importance of hand washing to students.

"We think of it every day and we count our children and we find out why children are not here," said Lynn Terry, director of preschool at Messiah Lutheran Church Child Care Center. "We just pray that it will end soon."

Jahre says we are in the peak time of the flu season and have been for the last three weeks. Typically the peak season lasts for six weeks, meaning it may still be a while before the number of diagnosed cases goes down.

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