Is the worst of flu season over?

It's been an extremely rough and deadly flu season. As the winter winds down, could the worst finally be over?

Doctor Jerome Posner states, "It's definitely good news."

Attending physician Doctor Jerome Posner and staff at Lankenau's Emergency Department are breathing a little easier now that the flu nightmare appears to be leveling off.

"We saw a huge surge the last week of January and the first two weeks of February, but it has plateaued," said Dr. Posner.

However, he reminds everyone while the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows the number of deaths and new diagnoses of the flu are trending downward, there's plenty more flu season to go. There are other illnesses that often are mistaken for the flu.

"Doesn't mean it can't come back again, but it's hopeful they will continue on the downturn," Dr. Posner stated. He went on, "So people can have adenovirus which mimics the flu. Or, just the plain cold which is usually due to coronavirus. RSV can mimic it as well."

It's all been causing a crush of patients in an emergency department and trauma center that's one year away from expanding to twice its size. Dr. Posner says they could use the space now.

"It will certainly help us deal with patient surges that happen this time of year," explains Dr. Posner.

He advises people to not let their guard down yet. Take precautions and if a person does get sick, try not to spread the virus.

"You can transmit the illness usually a day before the flu actually begins and up to several days afterward, so we recommend people err on the side of conservative. Stay home, get rest, lots of fluids and avoid spreading the flu to other people," Dr. Posner explained.