Flu effect obvious at local hospital - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flu effect obvious at local hospital

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December 19, 2003

Albany-- Phoebe Putney Hospital's pediatric ward is admitting more children with the flu. About one-quarter of the children on the pediatric floor have influenza, some with fevers as high as 106 degrees.

Last week though, the pediatric ward was maxed out with sick kids, because of the high number of flu cases. The hospital has run out of their supply of flu testing kits, but more are expected by Monday.

Dr. Craig Smith, head of infectious diseases at Phoebe, says the flu is reaching epidemic proportions.

"Although we haven't met the CDC criteria for a full epidemic, catastrophic portions, we are as close as we can get we are just about over that mark right now," said Dr. Smith.

All 50 states now have reported cases of the flu, 36 states, including Georgia, are experiencing a widespread outbreak. Dr. Smith says Phoebe is not overwhelmed with influenza patients though, and is prepared to handle sick people.

posted at 5:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com