Flu season greatly impacting Cullman

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Three flu-related deaths were reported during December at the Cullman Regional Medical Center. Now, the hospital is taking a hard stance against the flu bug in order to help prevent its employees from becoming infected.

“We’re one of the few hospitals in the state of Alabama that actually requires our employees to take the flu vaccination,” said Marti Smith, who serves as the hospital’s infection and prevention control specialist.

Smith says there are precautions that need to be taken every step of the way.

Nurses are being told to wash their hands inside and outside of every room.

Visitors are encouraged to leave germs at the door by using tissues, a mask and hand sanitizer.

“We have precautions in place throughout our hospital to try and prevent patients from having hospital-acquired infections,” Smith said.

Smith says flu cases usually spike in December and January.

Patients testing positive for the flu were up 28 percent each week. Now, though, they are on the decline at about 10 percent as of last week.

Hospital workers encourage everyone to be safe if they’re not feeling well. Instead of making a bedside visit, they are encouraging people to send a card or balloon instead.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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