Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

An Early….and Tough….Flu Season in Beatrice Area

An Early….and Tough….Flu Season in Beatrice Area

That dwarfs the 369 hospitalizations at this time a year ago.

On Monday, the number of people seeking care at the John Peter Smith Hospital Emergency Department reached 400, up from 321 on January 1.

The Brant Community Healthcare System received funding in November for an additional 32 temporary beds at The Willett in Paris to deal with flu season, which will free up beds at BGH if there is an increase in admissions due to flu.

The increase in cases caused the hospital on Tuesday to issue visitation restrictions until the cases drop. "We usually say over and over again that the season would peak around the fifth or sixth week of the year, so in early February".

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One UAB infectious disease physician says this year's flu situation is a lot worse than in years past. She said in order for the CDC to produce the correct vaccination, it must correctly predict what type of flu strain will be prevalent.

A toddler in Lucas County has died from complications of the flu this week, becoming the second child to die from pediatric flu this season. It's true that the vaccine was only 10 per cent effective in preventing influenza A.

In Dallas County, 18 flu-related deaths have been reported this season, according to WFAA.

"We try to be sensitive and practical", said Kitchen. Some protection is better than none, and the flu may be less severe in people who have been vaccinated.

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Flu season lasts from October to May. "It could protect someone from getting the flu, or if they get the flu, they could have a milder course", Khan said. Instead, medical workers can only treat the symptoms. It's even more important for patients to see a doctor if they have a chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart disease or if they are young or elderly. She says the December spike hit quickly, prompting the hospital to implement its' policy on employee vaccination.

We also reached out to the health departments in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain and Warren counties.

Patients should be aware of long wait lines and if you have minor flu or flu-like symptoms, don't go to the ER to avoid straining resources. As it turns out, the most common influenza virus in Australia last season was influenza A H3N2. If you have symptoms of influenza, contact your health care provider promptly to find out if antiviral treatment is needed.

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