Flu outbreak skips Kingman

Published On: Jan 14 2014 08:55:56 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 15 2014 02:15:47 PM CST

Not every community in Kansas is dealing with wide-spread flu levels. The Kingman Community Hospital says it's dealing with a below average number of cases. The emergency room is empty.

"You know the the flu season here has been pretty mild," said Dr. Robert Ullom. "I think in the hospital here we've had one confirmed in January, two confirmed cases in December and over at our clinic across the street here we've had three cases so far in January."

They're well aware that's a big difference from what is happening in Wichita.

"We've heard that the hospitals in Wichita are going on diversion," said Ullom.

Doctors and administrators in Kingman aren't quite sure why their emergency room beds are remaining empty, though they can make a few educated guesses.

To start with they've really pushed vaccinations.

"The hospital offers free vaccinations to all it's employees," said Ullom. "Again, we've been pretty aggressive about offering vaccinations to all our patients at the clinic."

Plus, it's all about location, location, location.

"We're a more rural area so people aren't as packed in as they are in Wichita."

And because they want to keep exam rooms and the emergency room as empty as they can in Kingman, they're doing everything they can to keep the flu out.

"We're all more aware of, again, just trying to use good hygiene, washing hands more frequently, using the hand sanitizer between patients," said Ullom.

And they're ready, just in case a patient with flu symptoms comes in. Signs direct them straight to the emergency room so they won't accidentally infect anyone else.

Health officials say the flu tends to go in waves. Right now Wichita is getting the worst of the flu season. Next month it could be Kingman or some other city that's not been hit yet.