By Michaela Gibson Morris
TUPELO – Because of an uptick in patients hospitalized with severe flu, North Mississippi Medical Center put precautions in place starting Friday evening.
“NMMC is treating an increasing number of patients who demonstrate ‘flu-like’ symptoms,” said Dr. Mark Williams, North Mississippi Health Services chief medical officer. “At this point, there are concerns that some cases in young individuals may be unusually severe.”
Currently, Mississippi is showing more flu activity than other states, particularly among young people. For the week ending Nov. 30, the Centers for Disease Control flu surveillance reports showed high flu activity in Mississippi with increased activity within at least two regions of the state. The Mississippi Department of Health reported that influenza activity has been highest in children and young adults ages 5 to 24.
At the Tupelo hospital, leaders are asking:
• Limit visitors to one per patient at a time. Ideally, one designated family member per patient would limit exposure.
• Children under 15 should not to visit.
• Individuals who have flu symptoms to leave the hospital. If you are coughing, please use a tissue to cover your face. Do not return to visit until you are free of symptoms for seven days.
• Patients who become very sick, are pregnant or have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of flu complications (like asthma), call a doctor. They might need antiviral medicine to treat the flu.
NMMC also is requiring employees who have not received the flu vaccine to wear a mask for all patient care duties during the flu season.