Borgess-Lee pediatrics clinic saw 200 children in one dayPublished 8:25am Friday, October 23, 2009
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
“We are being hit very hard in southwest Michigan” by flu season, Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital Administrator Joy Strand said Thursday. “To compound that, there is a shortage of deliveries of vaccine to this area. We’re doing the best we can to get vaccine, but no one seems to have any extra.”
“Please, please, please use good hygiene, wash your hands, use your bleach cloths to clean off your door knobs, telephones, anything that’s shared with people,” she told Dowagiac Rotary Club Thursday. “We saw 200 children in our pediatrics clinic in one day this week. It’s going around, and now we’re starting to see staff being sick. Some schools in South Bend and St. Joe are closed. It’s here, so please, please, be careful.”
Dentist Dr. Matthew Cripe asked whether the virus actually hits kids harder or seems to because they tend to occupy concentrated environments, such as schools or day care facilities.
“There are two types of flu,” Strand said. “There’s seasonal flu and there’s H1N1. The age group of 18 months to 24 years is more susceptible to H1N1.”
“There is an advantage to being old, she told Rotarians.
“You’re probably already immune to H1N1 because you’ve been exposed over the years. That’s why it’s hitting the younger population harder.”
Again, “Coughing, sneezing, use a tissue, wash your hands. We’re passing out hand sanitizers all over the place.”
Dr. Fred L. Mathews said on cruise ships “shaking hands” has been supplanted by elbow bumps.