According to officials at DCH, last week, 893 patients presented in the ER with flu-like symptoms – the highest number this year. The week prior, 535 patients went to DCH’s emergency departments with flu-like symptoms. This is an increase of over 60 percent week over week.
DCH officials say that 28 percent of patients who came in last week tested positive for type A or B flu. The week before, that number was 20 percent. Currently, nine patients are in DCH hospitals with the flu.
How do these numbers compare to last year? During the same week in 2018, 968 patients went to DCH ED’s with flu-like symptoms – and 272 were found to have flu. This time last year, the number of flu cases was beginning to trend downward.
These figures do not represent all the flu cases in Tuscaloosa County, but they are an indicator of what other area practitioners are seeing.
DCH hospitals are now asking people with symptoms of the flu to refrain from visiting the hospital. During flu season, please consider limiting hospital visits, even if you think you are well. The flu virus can be spread before someone has symptoms. Keep the number and length of hospital visits to a minimum, especially if you are visiting patients in ICU, Pediatrics, or the Women’s Center.