San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 7th, 2009
CTMC monitors influx of flu patients


Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) said it its emergency room saw a record of 207 patients on Sept. 28. Of them, 95 had flu-like symptoms.

From Sept.1 through Sept. 30, CTMC saw a total of 1,122 patients who presented flu-like symptoms. The hospital admitted three patients due to flu symptoms in September.CTMC reports that Center for Disease Control has said the H1N1 (swine flu) virus is usually no worse than the ordinary seasonal flu. The CDC advises that people should not panic, but those who are infected should stay away from others as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus. It is imperative that people take the precaution of frequent hand washing throughout the flu season.

CTMC has taken cautionary measures in order to protect its patients, visitors and staff.

“Hand-sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the campus,” said infection control specialist Eileen Haag. “We’re also using extra caution with anyone sneezing or coughing. They will be asked to put on a mask as soon as they enter the facility. Our emergency waiting area provides a private seating area for patients with flu-like symptoms in order to protect the health of other hospital visitors. We’re also asking that people with flu-like symptoms not visit friends or relatives in the hospital.”

The center is closely monitoring the number of patients diagnosed with the Influenza H1N1 symptoms in order to prevent further contamination within the hospital.

The Hospital’s annual Fall Festival for area elementary children has been canceled to protect the more than 1,000 children that would have toured the facility at the event.

“The health of our children is our top priority,” CTMC Public Relations Coordinator Tabitha Walsh said. “Although the children and our employees look forward to this event each year, we feel it is in the best interest of the children to protect their health this flu season.”

CTMC’s flu awareness efforts include posters, flyers and electronic updates that are available at The center updates its information based on guidelines and information supplied by the CDC.

The CDC also recommends getting the vaccine for the regular seasonal flu, as well as the H1N1 vaccine, which should be available by mid-November.

For current information, go to the “Flu Information” link at www.ctmc. org or call (512) 753-3676.

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