As the flu begins to hit hard in other parts of the country, Ogallala Community Hospital officials said local numbers remain comparable to previous seasons
OGALLALA, Neb. (Jan. 11,2013) - As the flu begins to hit hard in other parts of the country, Ogallala Community Hospital officials said local numbers remain comparable to previous seasons.
According to Amy Stanly, RN, infection preventionist at OCH, the first positive tests for the flu at OCH occurred around December 14. Since then the Emergency Department has seen an average of two people a day with flu-like symptoms. At its peak so far, the Emergency Department saw five patients a day come in with those symptoms.
Only one person has been hospitalized with the flu, which is comparable to previous years.
Stanley said that the Banner Health Clinic in Ogallala has seen 45 patients who have tested positive for influenza, which is also comparable to previous years. The illness is hitting all ages. The largest group affected is 25-49, followed by children under 4.
Stanly also noted that some cases have involved people who had already received a flu shot.
The best protection against the flu is to receive a flu shot. In addition, people should wash their hands properly and stay home from work or school if they have flu-like symptoms.
"It is not too late to be immunized for the flu," Stanley said. "This season's vaccine is a very good match with circulating strains." Please call the Banner Health Clinic for information about vaccines, (308) 284-3645.
If flu symptoms last more than a week or are associated with a high fever, cough productive of colored phlegm, or difficulty breathing, patients need to be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.