October 9, 2019

Give a hug, not the bug this flu season

By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer

While the severity of the upcoming flu season remains undetermined, local experts are urging community members to arm themselves with the flu shot to not only protect themselves, but also those around them.
“Last year, we had 144 people that came in for medical treatment that tested positive for influenza,” says Sara Palmer, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, Inc. Infection Control coordinator.
Of the positive cases, 140 tested positive for Influenza A, while only  four were positive for Influenza B.  As much as 55 percent of the patients who tested positive for the Influenza virus fell into the pediatric range, Palmer says.
“For our facility, 86.1 percent of the people who tested positive for influenza had not been vaccinated,” Palmer says.
Not only had the patients not been vaccinated last season, but a vast majority had never been vaccinated before in their entire lives.
“That tells us that we weren’t seeing a a lot of people getting sick who had received vaccinations,” Palmer says.

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