Passavant Area Hospital has seen zero cases, or hospitalizations due to influenza this year. It is the only hospital in the Memorial Health System network to post a zero in either category.
Memorial Health System announced today its affiliate hospitals are seeing a dramatic decrease this year in the number of influenza cases. MHS says the drop is thanks in part to precautions being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19.
According to Memorial Health System Data, from October to now, only six people have been hospitalized for influenza at Memorial Health System’s five hospitals, including Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, and Passavant Area Hospital, as well as affiliate hospitals in Decatur, Lincoln, and Taylorville.
MHS officials say at this time last year that number was 99, and the hospitals collectively have seen only 29 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, compared to 2,013 at this time last year.
Gina Carnduff, Memorial Health System director of infection prevention says “It’s a dramatic difference,” She says the things that the public is doing to prevent COVID-19, such as wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, and keeping social distance, is also helping to greatly reduce the odds of contracting the flu.
Carnduff noted that COVID-19 is much more infectious than influenza, but that both diseases are transmitted through the air and close contact with others.
Carnduff says Memorial Health System continues to encourage people to stay diligent about washing hands and wearing masks. She says the steps do help reduce the risk of disease transmission, both for COVID-19 and influenza.
Numbers of influenza cases, hospitalization by hospital:
Memorial Medical Center: Seven cases, one hospitalization.
Decatur Memorial Hospital: 16 cases, five hospitalizations.
Passavant Area Hospital: Zero cases or hospitalizations.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital: Four cases, no hospitalizations.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital: Two cases, no hospitalizations.