Hospitals restrict visitors as flu precaution

Hospitals restrict visitors as flu precaution
January 01
00:00 2015
(pictured above: CDC flu activity chart for week ending Dec. 13.)

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, High Point Regional Health and Cone Health are restricting visitors who are under the age of 18 to prevent the spread of the flu.

“This decision is based on recommendations from the hospital’s infection control committee to combat the spread of influenza among patients,” said Dr. Dale Williams, chief medical officer at High Point Regional. “Our decision is similar to other hospitals across the nation to restrict children from visiting the hospital while flu is prevalent in our community.”

Those who are under age 18 will not be permitted to visit patients at the hospitals. Baptist says exceptions will be made for special family circumstances, such as a dying family member, may be allowed, but parents/guardians are asked to get permission from the patient’s nurse to allow children to visit.

“Only healthy adult visitors and family members age 18 and older are permitted to visit patients. All visitors and family members should be healthy – free from fever, cough, colds, or stomach virus symptoms – in order to visit patients,” reads a statement from Baptist released Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that this flu season will be more severe than recent seasons because this year’s flu vaccine is not as effective because the current strain of the virus has mutated. Widespread flu outbreaks have been reported in more than 30 states, including North Carolina.

The hospitals say they will continue to evaluate this new policy as the flu season progresses.

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