Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Flu season has hospital census up

Knox County Health Department offers free flu vaccinations All rights reserved
Charlie Simmons | 07 January, 2018, 01:35

The Utah Department of Health says the flu has become widespread in the state, and the number of cases is expected to continue rising.

In a media update on Friday, Jan. 5 ODH said that in the last week of 2017 there were 925 new flu-associated hospitalizations which was up from 554 in the previous week. Cases don't usually peak until later in January or February.

HPS in its latest report says 'There is continuing evidence of increasing secondary care pressure based on virological detections of influenza'.

State officials wouldn't give specifics on locations, but Knox County has seen no reports of flu deaths so far "that we know of", said Dr. Martha Buchanan, county health department director.

Sharp said flu vaccines are offered through healthcare providers, county health departments, outpatient clinics and many pharmacies. These categories are persons who are age 6 months to 4 years; ages 65 and older; or have chronic disorders such as asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological and neurodevelopment conditions, blood disorders, endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus) or metabolic disorders.

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Even though we're in a new year, health officials say the flu is still taking its toll on Oklahomans. "Our census has been high through the holidays, but not just due to the flu season", said Linda Burt, vice president of Quality and Community Services.

"Washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and get your flu shot", Maynard said. "Thirty percent protection is still better than zero".

However, England data on hospitalisations suggested the dreaded "Aussie flu" H3N2 was on the rise - with 112 hospitalisations in 19 hospitals last week, compared to five across 12 trusts the week before - for which there was no vaccine made available to patients.

Emergency room doctors in Escondido, California have set up a special tent outside the hospital to handle a surge in flu patients.

"If you have symptoms of the flu, stay home", Rogers stressed.

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