Sunday, January 6, 2013

Influenza: It's Nothing to Sneeze At

Sunday, January 6, 2013. Epiphany. I spent quite a bit of the weekend being with family, and wasn't feeling as chipper as I like during the week. Still, as we say here in Minnesota, 'it could be worse.' For many folks it's a great deal worse.

This winter's flu encouraged the nursing home to not allow visitors. That's been going no for weeks now. Happily, we've got telephones: so it's possible to 'visit' without actually visiting.

I heard on the radio that a hospital somewhere in Minnesota had a 'no visitors' policy now, again because of the flu. They were probably talking about the Sleepy Eye Medical Center: or some other place.

I found quite a bit of news about the flu outbreak, including these items:
"Flu death toll rises to 4 in Minnesota"
AP, via KEYC-TV, Mankato (January 6, 2012)

"State health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in Minnesota has risen to four...."

"Flu Season Hitting Hard"
Molly Miles, KEYC-TV (Updagted January 6, 2012)

"There's more evidence today of how dangerous the flu can be. The state's latest flu-related death, a 17-year-old boy who died in a St. Paul Hospital....

"So how do you avoid it? [Dr. Chris] Callahan, says for starters, get a flu shot, even if you don't think you are very susceptible....

"...After that, use fervor to avoid the fever.

"Callahan says, 'Wash your hands, good personal hygiene will go a long way in decreasing the transmission from people to people.'

"And if you aren't feeling well, stay home...."

"Sleepy Eye Medical Center Restricting Visitors for Flu Concerns"
Dan Ruiter, KEYC-TV ()

"The Sleepy Eye Medical Center has taken the rare step of restricting visitors because of the flu outbreak. That's according to the Sleepy Eye Medical Center CEO Kevin Sellheim.

"Sellheim told News 12 that the measure implemented this week is similar to what the Medical Center did back in 2009 during the H1N1 outbreak. That means until further notice, only immediate family is allowed to visit patients in the hospital...."

For more 'official' information about this year's flu:
Apart from that, there's a nice white blanket of snow. Skies are bright blue, except when they're not, and another year has gone by without the Christmas tree in Our Lady of the Angels church falling over. (December 25, 2005)

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