The end may be near to a rough flu season

By  | 


The area's two major hospitals saw a spike in flu patients beginning in mid-December, resulting in both of them restricting public visits to those patients.

But by the end of January, Marietta-based Memorial Health System, whose flagship facility is Marietta Memorial Hospital, lifted those restrictions. Parkersburg's Camden Clark Medical Center did the same March 5.

"Out of every 100 tests we're doing, less than 3 are positive for (influenza A) and less than 1 for (influenza B)," says Debora Life, RN, Infection Control Specialist, Camden Clark Medical Center. "We're in pretty good shape now, with no restrictions."

The flu outbreak this year was the worst since the H1N1 virus of 2009 led to massive vaccinations and greater emphasis on hygiene. This year's outbreak also led to more people than usual being hospitalized.

"A lot of times it was from pneumonia, secondary to the influenza," says Michelle Grimm, RN, Infection Control, Memorial Health System.

When asked about the ages of those hospitalized, Grimm said, "It was all across the board."

And national health experts warn that the more intense strain of flu this year may mean the outbreak isn't over yet.