12 remain hospitalized in Sumter with flu

Palmetto Health Tuomey system has treated 53 so far

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 1/30/18

More people are being hospitalized with the flu in Sumter County as the illness continues to spread throughout the country.

As of Monday, Palmetto Health Tuomey had 12 people admitted with the flu, including one infant, according to Katie Geer, …

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12 remain hospitalized in Sumter with flu

Palmetto Health Tuomey system has treated 53 so far

Posted

More people are being hospitalized with the flu in Sumter County as the illness continues to spread throughout the country.

As of Monday, Palmetto Health Tuomey had 12 people admitted with the flu, including one infant, according to Katie Geer, communications coordinator for the Sumter hospital.

She could not confirm whether the infant in the hospital on Monday was the same as the child who was admitted on Thursday night. She did not have a breakdown of how old the other 11 patients are.

"As of [Monday] morning, we had treated 53 flu patients. That is not admitted 53, just treated between all the [Palmetto Health Tuomey] offices and Emergency Department," Geer said.

According to the latest FluView report from the Centers for Disease Control, all U.S. states except Hawaii continue to report "widespread flu activity, and the number of states experiencing 'high' influenza activity increased from 32 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico to 39 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico."

South Carolina is among those 39 states with "high" activity.

The CDC reported on Monday that indicators used to track influenza-like-illness activity are now higher than what was seen during the peak of the 2014-15 season.

"The overall hospitalization rate is now similar to the overall hospitalization rate reported during the same week of the 2014-2015 season," the agency said.

There have been seven additional children that have died from the flu, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths in the nation this season to 37.

The hardest-hit age group has been those 65 and older this season.

"In seasons where H3N2 is the main cause of influenza, we see more cases, more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations and more deaths, especially among older people," said Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division in CDC's national center for immunization and respiratory diseases, in a media conference call on Friday. "This season is now looking like the 2014-15 season, where H3N2 predominated. In that season, it was categorized as a high-severity season."

Jernigan said two notable characteristics have been experienced this season: that flu activity became widespread across the country at the same time instead of different parts of the country "lighting up" at different times, and that activity has stayed at the same level for three weeks in a row.

Clarendon Hall, which closed for the last three days of last week because of widespread flu activity in students and staff, appeared to be open on Monday, as planned.