Flu epidemic hits Panola County hard
By Myra Bean
Along with the rest of the state, Panola County has been hit hard by the flu and strep throat epidemic. The Panolian staff took to the phones and streets to find out from medical personnel how this strain has affected job and school attendance since before Thanksgiving.
About 80 percent of The Panolian staff has been felled by the flu since right before Thanksgiving. Surrounding hospitals have been reported to be closed to admitting new patients with the flu as they are at capacity including Tupelo and Baptist Hospital in Oxford. Baptist Desoto reported Wednesday that 100 patients needed to be admitted but there were no rooms.
Panolian accountant Debbie Parker was told this is the worst strand they have ever experienced and it does not play.
Graphic Artist/Advertising Director Margaret Buntin was told Tupelo hospital was still on lockdown Wednesday by a local pharmacist. A local Lifeguard EMT confirmed to classified specialist Tosh Pierce that Tupelo was shut down, Oxford was not completely full and Panola Medical was still okay. The EMT said patients are being rerouted to Clarksdale due to ICU’s at capacity.
Batesville clinic also reported to Parker that as of Wednesday, they were out of flu testing kits.
North Delta’s Mrs. Sanders confirmed they had seen an increase in absenteeism due to the flu.
“Not a lot,” she said, “but there have been some.” She said she saw a real bad case Wednesday morning.
Jeff Eubanks said absenteeism is up three percent in the South Panola School District.
“Those numbers are in line for what we normally see during this time of year,” Eubanks said.