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St. Elizabeth ups staff amid increase of flu patients

Flu season affecting substitute teachers, too
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 17:48:21-05

CINCINNATI -- In her 22 years of working in the emergency room, Ashel Kruetzkamp says she’s never seen a flu season like this one. 

Kruetzkamp, nurse manager at St. Elizabeth in Edgewood, said this flu season has brought an increase of patients with upper respiratory infections and flu and cold-like symptoms that include prolonged cough, body aches and fever. 

Michelle Wilbers, manager of the Infection Control Department, said St. Elizabeth has reported 1,500 cases of influenza to the health department since Oct. 1. Of the 1,500 patients, 300 were admitted to the hospital. 

The increase of cases have put a higher demand on hospital staff, Wilbers said. 

“Folks who are being admitted who do have positive flu, our hospital census is higher,” Wilbers said. “People who require isolation -- that’s higher as well.” 

The flu has also taken a toll on faculty and staff of local schools, according to Matt Wendeln, manager of Comprehensive Substitute Solutions. 

Wendeln, who places substitute teachers in 30 districts in Hamilton and Clermont Counties, said his company has assigned more than 900 substitute teachers. 

“The flu does travel,” Wendeln said. “One day it’s one school that’s hit harder, and the next day it’s the third grade.” 

Comprehensive Substitute Solutions is currently hiring, Wendeln said. Click the link below for more information.