The Flu is officially an epidemic in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control issued their latest flu report on Friday. Six states have been added to the widespread flu activity category bringing the total of States in the highest category to 47.
Only California, Mississippi, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia remain in less severe categories.
On Thursday metro area hospitals began asking patients who think they have the flu and need treatment to visit urgent care facilities or walk-in clinics instead of going to the emergency room because they were seeing overcrowding.
They also put visitor restrictions in place at Methodist, Lutheran, Blank, and Mercy Hospitals in Des Moines. Only two visitors are allowed at a time, per room, and those visitors must be older than 17 to contain the spread of germs.
Mercy, and several area Walgreens and Hy-Vee locations have run out of the flu vaccine.
WesleyLife is holding a special flu clinic on Saturday at their Des Moines location from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
They advised that they only have the flu shot left, not the mist, they can only serve people 9 years old and up, and while they hope to stay open until 1 p.m. they will likely run-out of vaccine before.
WesleyLife Home and Community Services is located at 944 18th Street in Des Moines.