CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The number of flu patients in the four hospitals that make up the CAMC Health System has dropped in half in recent days, according to a hospital official.

CAMC COO Glenn Crotty

CAMC Chief Operating Officer Dr. Glenn Crotty said Wednesday CAMC’s four hospitals have had about 150 flu patients in their daily in-patient census for most of this month but that’s dropped in recent days to about 70 admitted patients due to the flu. He said it’s been the worst flu season in seven to 10 years at CAMC.

Crotty said the average patient with the flu is hospitalized for about 5.5 days. He said the CAMC staff has worked overtime to take care of them.

“We’ve enticed some of our part-time employees to take extra shifts. We have our regular staff taking extra shifts and overtime. We’ve stretched some units a little bit,” he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control doesn’t believe the flu has seen its peak, Crotty said.

“We expect this to rebound and have another upward surge of cases requiring admission through February,” he said.

Like other hospitals across the U.S., CAMC has experienced a shortage of IV Saline. Crotty said three manufacturing plants were destroyed during last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico. He said, where possible, flu patients are drinking Gatorade to deal with hydration issues.

“We are being careful and patients where we can use Gatorade and other forms of hydration that they can take oral, we have encouraged patients to do that,” he said.

At least one person with the flu has died while hospitalized at CAMC, Crotty said.

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