Network-wide Flu Cases Top 1,400

January 26th, 2018

Nearly 1,500 people have tested positive for flu so far this month at JPS Health Network, according to a new analysis that counts positive tests at both John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and JPS community clinics throughout Tarrant County.

Previous reports have included positive flu tests from the hospital — the emergency room, urgent care and inpatient units. That total rose to 558 on Friday. JPS clinics have seen another 924 patients testing positive for flu in January, bringing the network’s total for the month to 1,482.

JPS monitors positive flu tests as a trend indicator, but the number of flu patients is likely significantly higher. Given the prevalence of flu in the community, laboratory confirmation is not always required to initiate treatment. (If it looks like flu, it probably is.) And the test is not 100 percent sensitive. Infectious disease specialist Jeffrey Tessier, MD, says the actual number of sick patients is likely twice the number of positive flu tests.

County wide statistics suggest flu season may have peaked, but the virus remains widespread. Vigilance and preventive measures remain important, and unvaccinated individuals can still benefit from a flu shot. To help avoid the flu, keep your hands clean, avoid touching your face, avoid close contact with the coughs and sneezes of others (and cover your own with a sleeve.)

The Pharmacy at JPS reported Friday that 46,201 people have been vaccinated by JPS since September 7.

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