Restaurants are taking steps to stay flu-free - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Restaurants are taking steps to stay flu-free

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TYLER (KYTX) - The nationwide flu outbreak is straining hospital emergency rooms and vaccine supplies.

And with more people trying to stay flu-free, there is more work to be done.

We spoke with Cedrick Fletcher who owns Zaza's in Tyler.

He said just this past weekend he had a meeting to talk to his staff about staying healthy this flu season, and when he asked who got a flu shot, only one person raised their hand.

Cedrick Fletcher says there's a lot more hand washing happening at his restaurant Zaza's.

"If you shake hands, you come back and wash your hands because we're dealing with the public," says Fletcher.

He has his staff to say home if their sick.

And he asked them to get flu shots, something many are doing with the outbreak spreading across the country..

"I hear it takes two weeks to take effect, so maybe I'll not catch it in the next two weeks and it will offer me some protection," says Janet Van Braam.

New Yorkers lined up for a vaccine in what has become an early dive into the flu season.

It's widespread in 45 states and is blamed for the deaths of 20 children including 6-year-old Tahila Johnson of Dallas.

But the demand is causing shortages in both the flu vaccine and Tamiflu.

"I called my doctor and they were out of shots. So I came here," says Geoff Bentz.

"If you're having shortness of breath, if you have some underlying illness that could make it much more severe. Come into the hospital. Many other people can be treated safely at home taking fluids, Ibuprofen and Tylenol," says Dr. Paul Biddinger, a doctor with Massachusettes Hospital.

Fletcher is taking every precaution he can.

"We wipe our doors down, we Lysol the phones and everything," says Fletcher.

Until this flu season finally ends.

Some U.S. hospitals and clinics are so overrun with patients, they've set up separate tents outside for patients.

Flu season peaks in February.

Some doctors say this year's flu strain is making people sicker than past years.

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