Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka Hospitals See 'Significant Increase' in Cases

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka Hospitals See 'Significant Increase' in Cases

Article excerpt

Influenza activity has increased in nearly every area of Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and Topeka hospitals have noticed an uptick in the number of people testing positive for it.

Influenza A has been the most predominant type circulating in Kansas so far this flu season. While Topeka hospitals have seen a few cases of influenza B, the majority have been cases of influenza A.

St. Francis Health in Topeka has had 124 positive screenings for influenza A and five positive screenings for influenza B so far this season, spokesman Ben Bauman said. The hospital at this time last flu season had recorded 85 positive screenings for influenza A and two positive screenings for influenza B.

Nancy Burkhardt, spokeswoman for Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center, said the hospital had administered 1,232 influenza screenings so far this flu season. There have been 289 positive screenings for influenza A and two positive screenings for influenza B.

"We (recently) have seen a significant increase in the number of patients testing positive for influenza," Burkhardt said.

While data show a small decrease from last year's overall numbers, it doesn't seem that way right now, Burkhardt said.

"Our staff and our emergency department would say it doesn't feel like it's down," she said. "We are seeing a lot of patients."

Kansas City-area hospital and health officials said Tuesday this year's flu season has seen an unprecedented number of cases, an Associated Press story said.

The University of Kansas Hospital was treating 23 inpatients with the flu on Tuesday, along with 13 others with suspected cases of the flu, according to The AP. Two other influenza patients have died this year at the hospital.

Lee Norman, chief medical officer for The University of Kansas Hospital, said in his past eight years he has seen at most 10 hospitalized at any given time, according to The AP.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 333 deaths related to influenza or pneumonia between September and Dec. …

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