IMPORTANT Influenza Update as of 02.19.2018

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018

Influenza activity across the country has increased again according to the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Flu activity shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

As of Feb 3, there have been 63 pediatric deaths nationwide. Flu-related deaths statewide so far have risen to 167 according to most current data, compared to 103 flu-related deaths for all of the 2016-2017 season. Indiana was listed as number 5 in the top 10 states with the most individuals diagnosed with the flu. According to the CDC, hospitalizations for influenza are the highest they have been since 2010, and more people are seeking treatment for influenza symptoms at physician offices than has been seen since the 2003/2004 season, with the exception of the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic in 2009.

According to the local health department, while there has been a slight decreased in influenza A activity, there has a steady increase in Influenza B activity. This increase has been occurring at the national level as well. Influenza B is expected to rise and peak in late February or March. Both A and B strains are causing significant illness.

It is not too late to get vaccinated if you have not received the flu vaccine yet this season! The Fort Wayne hospitals report almost all of the flu related deaths are occurring in unvaccinated patients. If you have been diagnosed with the flu, be sure to complete the entire course of Tamiflu prescribed by your physician/clinician. While unfortunately the flu vaccine has shown decreased effectiveness for the influenza A strains, the vaccine appears to still be very effective against the influenza B strains that are now increasing in activity. It is possible to get the flu once and then contract the flu again of another strain, so you should be vaccinated regardless of an influenza diagnosis. By not receiving the vaccination, you increase the likelihood of serious medical complications with each time you contract the influenza virus.

Those persons 65 years of age and older should consider high dose vaccine or two standard doses administered at the same.

With the sustained heightened flu activity, DeKalb Health remains under Visitation Restrictions for the health and safety of our patients and their loved ones, our team members, and our community. These restrictions are:

1) No visitors under the age of 18 are permitted to visit any part of the hospital;

2) Only 2 ESSENTIAL adult caregivers are permitted to visit for the duration of their loved one’s hospitalization. We request that these two individuals are she same two individuals during the length of the hospitalization. These two can then keep the rest of the family/friends informed of the patient’s condition.

We will work with local health department officials to decide when the restrictions can be lifted.

Thank you for your understanding. Stay well!


Do your part to stop the spread of flu at child care facilities and schools

How to Know if You Have the Flu: Flu Symptoms