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Influenza makes its way into Asante hospitals

Flu season is underway, and while the last week of December saw a sharp spike in positive flu cases, the numbers dipped in early January before rising again. Nationally, influenza activity remains widespread, with some regions seeing an increase in…

Flu season is underway, and while the last week of December saw a sharp spike in positive flu cases, the numbers dipped in early January before rising again. Nationally, influenza activity remains widespread, with some regions seeing an increase in influenza A after an initial wave of influenza B — a reverse of the trend seen in our region during last year’s flu season. This indicates we may once again see a second peak of influenza cases in the coming weeks, according to Kirsten Schutte, MD, medical director of Asante Infection Prevention.

Asante hospitals have reported 805 positive flu cases and 77 hospitalizations since the season was declared in December. (Figures include outpatient labs.) These numbers align with volumes throughout Jackson County.

Graph of Flu Cases at Asante Hospitals February 2020

Statewide, more than 418 people have been hospitalized since this season’s
reporting began, with adults 65 or older accounting for a third of that population.

Visitor restrictions have been in place at Asante hospitals since Dec. 23. This is the second flu season that Asante has required masking for unvaccinated
employees, volunteers, medical staff and students.

Ninety-five percent of Asante’s medical staff has been immunized.
“Once again our employed and independent providers have demonstrated their professionalism and commitment to patient safety,” said Jamie Grebosky, MD, chief medical and quality officer. “Reaching 95% immunization among our medical staff not only helps to establish herd immunity, it sets an excellent example for our employees.”

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