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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
January 24, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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January 24, 2018

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January 24, 2018 Page 7A iRe-porter By Diane Glidewell County Hospital checkedlast Wednesday and with the public health Thursday may be the service to make sure the best thing that could With state and nation- outbreak wasn't unique have happened to help al news reporting a to Monroe County and the schools slow down spike in the number and quickly learned that itthe spread of the flu. severity of flu cases this was widespread. She said that before the year, the Reporter tried In spite of flu shots snow, absences peaked to learn how great the being mandatory for hos- at 60 one day at T.G. impact has been locally, pital staff, Fleckenstein Scott but are now back Although one case of estimated that 60-70 down to about 20-30 per flu in your home or percent of Monroe day. She said that this work place is too many, County Hospital employ-year's strain of flu seems it seems that Monroe ees have had it. Most of, very contagious, but so County is currently suf- them are now wearing far it has not infected fering a deluge of influ- masks as they go about any of the school nurses, enza. their duties. She does in spite of their frequent Reportedly not have data but thinks exposure. PruittHealth Forsyth that those who had the "I tell them not to closed its doors to vaccine probably had a touch anything about visitors and suspended shorter duration of ill- your shoulders with your group activities in an ness. hands and don't touch effort to protect its Most of those seen at anything that you put in residents and staff the hospital with the your mouth, even after from the flu. Attempts flu are middle aged washing your hands," to learn whether the and older, since most said Grant. "Nurses' same restrictions were children are taken to immune systems stay in in force at PruittHealth pediatric specialists, overdrive." Monroe and whether A shortage of Tamaflu She said she is dis- they are continuing at has threatened, but appointed that more PruittHealth Forsyth Fleckstein said the students did not take were unsuccessful at hospital pharmacist advantage of the flu press time because has been vigilant aboutvaccine given at the administrators were watching for its avail-schools in November at attending an out-of- ability and has kept sup- no charge. The students town meeting. Navicent plies on hand at Monroevaccinated at T.G. Scott Health barred all visi- County Hospital so far.dropped to about 150 tors age 12 and under "The people are so this year, whereas it had at its facilities, includ- sick this year," said usually been about 300. ing Monroe County Fleckenstein. "It got bet- Grant said the main Hospital, effective Jan. ter for a couple of days reason was because the 9. but is back up." vaccine was not avail- Casey Fleckenstein, Monroe County able as a nasal mist this head of nursing Schools have been send-year and was only given Monroe County ing children home with in shot form. Parents Hospital, said that the flu symptoms and have said they would rather hospital is continuing dealt with greater thantake children to their to see an unusually normal numbers of doctor's office where high number of people absences among both they could hold them for suffering from the flu. staff and teachers. In the flu shot, but many Whereas, the hospital the fall schools averaged were not able to take typically admits one 65-70 absences per day.time off from work and or two patients with Numbers have risen follow through with severe flu symptoms, it dramatically since the that intention. In spite has admitted 10. There Christmas break, with of the dread of needles, are 18 patients in the 261 out of school on Jan. for many of the children hospital's 20 beds, with 12 and 391 absent on vaccinated at T.G. Scott, two others identified as Jan. 19 after two snow it was over before they potentially being admit- days. It was better on knew it.' ted. She said that other Monday and Tuesday, at "It's just such a good hospitals in the region 192 and 193 children not ervice. Most of the are on "surge alert" and in school. Of course, all cases I've seen haven't are holding patients in absences were not due had the vaccine," said their emergency rooms to flu. Grant. until rooms are avail- Nurse Leigh Grant, She said that she able. who is based at T.G. thinks those who get Fleckenstein said that Scott Elementary, the flu vaccine each when the increase in said that the break year have shown more flu cases began, Monroe caused by snow days resistance to the flu this season even though this year's vaccine was not as effective as it usually is. Grant said that doc- tors in the area have been pro-active, often prescribing Tamaflu to everyone in the house- hold after a confirmed case of the flu. Staff shortages at T.G. Scott reached the point that that there were minor problems covering every- thing last week; some of the substitute teach- ers declined to come in because of the prolifera- tion of the flu. Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman said that school workers are generous with Lysol on doorknobs, desktops and all surfaces known for passing along germs. He commended the school nurses for the good job they are doing commu- nicating with parents about ill students. He said the number one message for parents and staff is to keep the child or yourself home until all fever has been gone, without the aid of Tylenol or Motrin, for at least 24 hours. When asked to share their experience with the flu, many caregivers told stories of how quickly their children went from just not feeling well and being lethargic to run- ning fevers as high as 104.6 degrees and hav- ing "vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, body aches, throat pain, coughing, head aches, fatigue." Parents spoke of anx- iously keeping watch at the bedsides of children from 21 months to 14 years old as they worked to keep fevers down and sooth wretching coughs. Most of the parents vaccine is still available who shared their battles at the health depart- with the flu said their ment, 106 Martin children did not get the Luther King Jr. Dr vaccine this year. One Forsyth from 8 a.m.-4 10-year-old whose illness p.m no appointment was complicated by asth- needed. Most insurances ma had the vaccine but cover the shot; the cost experienced severe flu without insurance is symptoms anyway. One $25. Her feedback has mother recolhmended been that the vaccine essential oils and Black will make the flu less Elderberry syrup to severe even if it does not help with recovery and prevent it. immunity. The top advice from Whitney Lovett, medical professionals is managing nurse at to wash hands frequent- Monroe County Health ly and thoroughly. Department, said the 1 1TM ANNUAL 27 7:00 - 9:00 PM Location: Hubbard |:|ementary 5 hoo| AVOID THE LINES AND PURCHASE TICKETS IN ADVANCE AT UNrrFa BASK So rmE SmI S MIDDLE GEORGIA P, FALTY V.A'S FORMALS ALLTICKETS ARE CLUB County proposes new crosshag at NPBC Monroe County Commissioners unanimously approved on Tuesday, Jan. 16 to start the process of closing the railroad cross- ings on Hwy. 41 South at Midway Church Road and New Providence Church Road. District 3 commissioner John Ambrose said Norfolk Southern intends to build a single wider crossing to serve New Providenceto widen the railroad Baptist Church between crossing at Old Rumble the two crossings that Road. District 1 commis- are expected to be closed, sioner Larry Evans said Several public hearings he also wants to request are required before the Norfolk Southern to erect crossings can be closed, crossing gates at the Ambrose said Norfolk railroad crossing on Tiff Southern also has agreed College Drive. 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