New Jersey hospitals see influx of patients recently

Posted: Updated:
NEPTUNE -

Officials at hospitals across New Jersey say that they have seen an influx of patients admitted to the emergency room lately.

Health care providers say that the extremely cold weather, icy conditions and a regional outbreak of the flu virus are to blame for keeping hospitals so busy.

“We tracked over 50 cases of influenza prior to Monday,” says Dr. Robert Sweeney at Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Dr. Sweeney says that the icy weather also led to many people slipping and hurting themselves.

“All weekend we were littered with people who had fallen. Broken hips, broken wrists, fractured lumbar vertebrae.”

The New Jersey Department of Health says that most of the Garden State is under the “high” category when it comes to the flu.

“There are a lot of people who say, ‘Gee I got sick because it's cold outside.’ But you probably got sick because you stayed inside…around a bunch of other sick people,” Dr. Sweeney says.

And anyone who may wish to leave the cold weather and head to warmer areas on an airplane – bad news.

“When you get on an airplane, there are other people on the airplane that are sick,” the doctor says. “People are coughing and sneezing…There's really not a way to escape other than good hygiene."

Flu season is not expected to peak for a new few weeks.

Dr. Sweeney says that the  best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid shaking hands with people who are sick and washing your hands often when around other people.

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