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Missouri struggles to deal with more than 40,000 cases of flu in the midst of an epidemic



ST. LOUIS The flu continues to run rampant and is widespread in all states except Hawaii. But the worst hit state can be Missouri. There are more than 40,000 cases so far this year, compared to just over 6,000 at this time last year.

Chloe Tennant arrived at Total Access Urgent Care in St. Louis complaining of flu-like symptoms. Fifteen minutes later, after a battery of tests, Dr. Paul Hinrichs gave the bad news. Tennant had the flu.

It's a common diagnosis these days in Missouri and throughout the country.

"I've been doing this for a long time and I've never seen such a high concentration of flu cases at the same time," Hinrichs said.

At the clinic, they've been seeing 1,000 hacking attacks, feverish patient sneezes a day. That's about twice the usual amount.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill tweeted, "Sleep, water, sleep, water" to let the world know she has contracted a flu that hits hard and fast.

In most cases, someone will feel good in a minute and will have an acute onset fever that can reach 103, 104 degrees in the next hour.

At St. Louis Children's Hospital, they do not take chances with visitors. We were equipped with an isolation gown, protective gloves and a mask before talking to Daniel Harris, 6, whose temperature had risen to 103 degrees. He has had the flu for eight days and his parents took him to the hospital on Wednesday night after suffering a seizure. His mother Ruth was next to his bed.

"What did we say?" he asked his son.

"It's the holes," Daniel answered.

The combination of vacation trips and children returning to school created a breeding ground for this outbreak of flu and doctors in Missouri believe they are at least 10 more days before you subside

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