UPDATE: Flu-like illness situation in Wichita area now 'manageable'

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- The flu-like illness situation impacting hospitals in Sedgwick County continues to be monitored hourly, but is now considered "manageable."

With that change, the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center has suspended operations for the incident.

Previous story:

Via Christi and Wesley Medical Center health professionals said they are at or near capacity this week.

Spokespersons for both hospital systems said the cause is due in part to flu and respiratory cases currently being treated.

Both Via Christi and Wesley are asking people who are not feeling well to visit their family physician or immediate care facility before visiting the emergency room, unless it is truly an emergency.

They also ask that children not be brought to visit patients at the hospital to help prevent the spread of illnesses. In addition, adults who are not feeling well, should not to visit patients at the hospital.

Doctors are also encouraging people to get the flu vaccine. Dr. Maggie Hagan, an infectious disease specialist at Via Christi, said that so far this year, the circulating H1N1 strain is the same that is in the vaccine.

"It's not 100-percent protective but it's a good vaccine. We think this year there is a good match between the strain that's circulating and the strain that's in the vaccine, so that's very important to know," said Hagan.

The Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center was activated on Monday to help with coordination efforts between EMS, public health, and local hospitals. They expect to remain operational until occupancy at hospitals is not near or at capacity.

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