Cold weather increasing number of flu cases - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Cold weather increasing number of flu cases

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Doctors say we have to dispel the myth that it is the bitter cold temps making you sick!

"With the cold weather, people spend more time indoors, near each other, coughing on each other and sharing germs so our number of influenza cases has really gone up," says Edward Michelson, MD, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. He says the hospital has been very busy with flu patients.

Doctor Michelson says the flu strain itself this year isn't that bad, meaning if you get it, you're not going to be any sicker than any other year. He also says it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Emergency Departments also see more cardiac cases and back injuries as people try to shovel out and also another hazard of the cold. "When it's snowy and cold, obviously, there's more ice around and we see more falls and fractures," says Dr. Michelson.

Frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes when temperatures drop and especially when it gets windy so he urges everyone headed outside to cover their head and protect extremities. He says University Hospitals, however, has not seen an abundance of frostbite or hypothermia cases so far this winter.

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