Mercy keeping close eye on flu
Chickasaw County has been spared the worst of an influenza outbreak, but area health officials say they are keeping a close eye on the situation.
“We monitor it every day,” Mercy Medical Center-New Hampton CEO Aaron Flugum said. “We’ve definitely seen how serious influenza can be this year.”
Eight more flu deaths have occurred in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), as influenza levels continue to rise in the state.
That brings the total in the state to 14 since Oct. 1. The deaths have occurred in all regions of the state and the average age was 85.
Mercy Public Relations Director Jenny Monteith said the hospital is currently at a “level one,” which means there are relatively few visitor restrictions at the New Hampton facility, but she pointed out that Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City has instituted “level three” visitor restrictions because of the high number of influenza cases.
“We’ve been lucky so far,” Monteith said. “Compared to other parts of the state, we’ve been spared, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. … It’s something we will continue to monitor.”
Health experts are reminding residents that it’s not too late to get a flu shot and are also reminding residents to stay home if they are sick.
For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.