Lindsborg Community Hospital Imposes Visitor Restrictions

Betty Nelson, Dir. of Marketing and Development

January 2013

"Influenza-like illnesses"-illnesses that include any signs or symptoms of the flu - such as cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, muscle aches and/or fatigue are on the rise nationwide…and at the Lindsborg Community Hospital and Family Health Care Clinic. Kansas is included in the states recording wide-spread influenza outbreaks.

Restrictions are posted at the hospital, discouraging visitors, especially children under 12 and anyone with comprised immune systems due to an increase of influenza-like illnesses. Influenza type A and cases of strep are being seen in the clinic, urgent care and emergency room.

In a report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, State Health Officer Robert Moser, MD, reported that the first week in January 2013, the reported cases of influenza-like illness was nearly double compared to the peak reported during the entire 2011-2012 season. Last season there were more than 1300 flu-related deaths in Kansas. This year, the toll is already nearing 500. "The typical peak for cases of ILI in Kansas occurs in February, and the rates we are observing now are higher and earlier than what we usually see," said Moser.

Influenza symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue and muscle aches. Complications can include ear and sinus infections, pneumonia, and dehydration; influenza may also worsen other chronic conditions.

Influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone six months of age and older to reduce the risk of becoming ill with the flu and reduce the risk of spreading the flu to others. This is especially important for anyone at high risk of complications, and for anyone who is caring for, or in regular contact with, an infant less than six months of age. Babies this age are too young to be vaccinated and are more vulnerable to the complications from influenza.

Physician Assistant Kelsey Swisher recommends that people practice good hand-washing, drink plenty of fluids and get adequate rest. "And it is not too late to get vaccinated," she added.

The Family Health Care Clinic still has vaccine available. An appointment is not necessary. Walk-ins are welcome, but there is not a nurse available from 12:00-1:30. Every effort will be made to get walk-ins in and out as quickly as possible.