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Hospitals should not fight flu alone

China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-12 07:56

THE PHOTO OF A NOTICE posted by a pediatric department of a hospital in Tianjin has been widely spread online, as it said that its services had been suspended because all its pediatricians had fallen ill due to their extremely heavy workload. Beijing News comments:

The incident has much to do with the outbreak of influenza sweeping across the nation. According to official data, the number of flu patients in Beijing in the last week of 2017 was up by 48.75 percent compared with the week before, with the majority of them children.

That has in turn brought a heavy workload to pediatric doctors. In the above-mentioned hospital, there are only three pediatricians, and they have fallen ill because of the number of children they were treating.

When the doctors fall ill, more patients have to wait to be treated.

In order to break this vicious circle, hospitals need to take more preparatory measures during the winter. For example, they could transfer more pediatric doctors from inpatient departments to out-patient departments, and give doctors flu vaccines in advance.

Of course, it is not the job of hospitals alone. Communities, schools, as well as parents all have a role to play. Communities could make more frequent surveys of their residents, while schools could monitor pupils daily for flu symptoms. Parents should also avoid taking their kids to group activities too frequently and take precautionary measures, in order to prevent themselves and their children getting the flu, including hand-washing, avoiding crowded places, and eating a balanced diet.

All these measures will help ease the burden on pediatric hospitals and doctors, as well as lower the chances of children getting cross infections in over-crowded hospitals.

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