Doctors prepared as flu season hits full swing

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PITTSBURGH - Many Channel 11 viewers take steps to avoid getting the flu; however, numbers are up nationally, as well as in Westmoreland County.

Nearly every bed in the Excela System was full over the weekend. Hospital officials said patients kept them busy.

"It was a rapid onset, especially since we ventured into flu season over the holidays," said Kathleen Rosatti, director of medical outcomes.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control show a spike in cases across the country, and that's in line with what Westmoreland health officials are seeing.

Since the start of the flu season, there have been close to 90 cases of the contagious illness in Westmoreland County. Officials said there's no indication this season is worse than others.

"The chills were pretty bad. The aches, pains and the chills," John Zylka said after recently recovering from the seasonal illness.

Nurses at Excela Westmoreland Hospital said their latest tool in diagnosing the flu is a nasal swab. Results are then ready in the lab about 15 minutes later.