The St. Louis region has experienced a sharp uptick in flu cases in recent weeks, according to Washington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital who say they are dealing with a severe flu outbreak that includes deaths from the illness. The deaths primarily were of otherwise healthy young and middle-aged adults not vaccinated against influenza, according to the physicians.
David Warren, MD, medical director for infection control at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, works diligently to prevent infections, but when they do occur, he pulls out all the stops to halt their spread. And in a world that is increasingly interconnected, Warren also must keep abreast of emerging global epidemics that have the potential to wreak havoc if there’s a local outbreak.
Seasonal flu shots for School of Medicine employees will begin Sept. 20 at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital and are scheduled to be provided through Oct. 21 at the Washington University Medical Center.
Making flu shots mandatory in 2008 dramatically increased the vaccination rate among St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare’s nearly 26,000 employees to more than 98 percent, according to a study led by the School of Medicine and now online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.