Ballad Health officers are urging parents to carefully monitor their youngsters for flu-like signs, fearful that the return of scholars from vacation break may worsen a flu season already at “epidemic” standing.
In December, Ballad Health skilled a 45% enhance in pediatric emergency room visits in comparison with last year because the begin of the flu season within the fall, emergency rooms within the well-being system have handled 1,450 flu instances. “That is no joke,” Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine mentioned on Thursday. “Persons are dying and might die from this.”
Ballad Health officers will likely be speaking to space faculty districts all through the next week as college students return from the vacation break. They’re asking parents to maintain youngster’s homes if there may be any signal of the virus.
“Don’t present as much as work. Don’t let your youngsters go to high school since you are on the threat of exposing different individuals to flu,” mentioned Dr. Amit Vashist, Ballad health chief medical officer.
Visitation restrictions stay in place at Ballad Health hospitals on account of issues in regards to the unfold of flu. A separate emergency room entrance and triage space have been arranging at Niswonger Children’s Hospital for youngsters with flu-like signs.
Whereas all Ballad Health staff are required to get a flu shot, caregivers are nonetheless in danger. Twenty caregivers at Holston Valley Medical Center are at the moment furloughed, whereas they’re being examined for potential publicity.
An urgent care facility in Gray, Tenn. was closed on Wednesday as a result of the whole group of caregivers had the flu. “All through the county, hospitals are battling this, and we’re nonetheless four or five months earlier than the top of the flu season,” Levine stated.