State Sees Spike in Flu Fatalities, Local Hospitals Act to Keep Illness From Spreading


STATEWIDE -- 13 people died of the flu in the week ending January 4th in Indiana. 

More than doubling the previous count--to a new total of 22. Eight of those deaths came in Marion County. 

The Indiana Department of Health has not revealed where the others occurred. By this time last year, Indiana had seen only four deaths related to the flu. 

In December, Memorial Hospital in Jasper and other area facilities put visitation restrictions in place to help reduce the spread of the illness.

The restrictions include:

·  No visitors with influenza-like symptoms in the hospitals. Symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever, chills, aches, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting or diarrhea.

·         No visitors under the age of 15.

·         No visitors other than immediate family or other significant persons as defined by the patient.

Exceptions to these restrictions may be made for cases involving critically ill patients and end-of-life situations. Some restrictions may be modified to accommodate healthy siblings of newborn babies.

These restrictions were developed using recommendations from the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently while in the hospital and wear protective face masks when instructed.

The flu can cause serious complications and even death, especially in the very young, the elderly, and those with certain existing medical conditions. These measures are being taken in an effort to protect patients, families, and hospital staff. We appreciate the community’s understanding and cooperation.

Community Patient Safety Coalition Hospitals Include:

Daviess Community Hospital, Washington                                             Methodist Health, Henderson, KY

Deaconess Health System                                                                             Methodist Health, Morganfield, KY

Evansville Surgery Center                                                                              Select Specialty Hospital

Gibson General Hospital, Princeton                                                          St. Vincent Evansville

Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes                                                        St. Vincent Warrick

Encompass Health Deaconess Rehabilitation                                        St. Vincent Orthopedic Hospital

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, Jasper                             The Women’s Hospital