This week, the MO Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting that Missouri’s influenza rate is over 300% above the five year average and that 60% of hospitalizations are 18-64 years old. Gary French of the Henry County Health department states “The flu has reached epidemic levels…and has similar characteristics to 1918 pandemic that killed 50 million people world-wide.” GVMH continues to see numerous patients presenting with the signs and symptoms of influenza and has reported dozens of positive cases each week for the past 3 weeks to the health department.
The flu shot this year covers H1N1 (the dominant strain circulating), however, only approximately 40% of the population receive a flu shot (ages 6 months and older). If you are a GVMH employee who declined the flu shot this year, it is not too late to change your mind and be vaccinated. Influenza can be serious and sometimes life-threatening and its related complications can cause hospitalization and even death. Below is a story reported by ABC and Fox News
“Alice Jones and her husband, Darrell, both in college and raising three children, got sick with the flu on Thursday, January 2nd and by Monday, Alice, age 29, an aspiring Dallas nurse, was dead. She had no other underlying medical conditions.
Darrell Jones, a criminal justice student who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan for nearly a year, said he and his children are so devastated they can’t stay in their house and are temporarily living with relatives.
“I made it through Afghanistan and thought we would move on with our lives,” said Jones, who turned 27 the day his wife died. “I was thinking that was the most dangerous part of our marriage.”
Neither Jones nor his wife had gotten flu shots this year.”
Stephanie Ashworth RN, CIC, CSSGB