It’s official: flu has arrived in Midtown


A flu outbreak has hit the area sooner and harder than usual, KU Hospital officials said today.

They have 23 inpatients with confirmed flu and 13 others with flu-like symptoms awaiting confirmation, they said.

“These numbers of flu patients are earlier than normal and in higher numbers than normal,” said Dr. Lee Norman, chief medical officer at the hospital.

He said they are mostly seeing the H3N2 Type A flu, with some Type B as well.

The H3N2 part of the current flu vaccine has been only half as effective as hoped, he said, but the vaccine is still the best protection.

“Often flu will result in a secondary infection, such as bacterial pneumonia or even drug resistant strains of pneumonia…,” he said.

There have been two flu deaths among hospital patients in the last two weeks, officials said.

To reduce spread of the flu, Dr. Norman said people need to properly cover their mouths when they cough and properly wash their hands often.

With schools starting again next week, he said parents should keep kids home if they are running a fever.

Dr. Norman noted a major question is when the flu is serious enough to seek hospitalization or other medical care.

The Centers for Disease Control said the danger signs in children include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Leave a Comment