Area hospitals temporarily restricting visitors to limit spread of flu

Online Staff Report

In light of the high number of influenza cases in the Rock River Region, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Health System and SwedishAmerican Health System are restricting the age of visitors to their facilities per recommendations from Illinois Department of Public Health.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends hospitals implement all of the comprehensive influenza prevention and control recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during times of increased incidence of influenza-like illness in the community.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, hospital visitors will be limited to those individuals 18 years of age and older. In addition, it is strongly recommended that anyone showing flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting patients in the hospital. All treatment services are still available to all patients.

The Winnebago County Health Department and the hospital systems remind everyone that if you haven’t had your flu shot, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, and to practice proper hygiene by covering coughs, cleaning hands often and staying home when sick.

Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting as well. Make decisions about when to seek medical care as you would under normal circumstances. It is not necessary to seek medical attention if you have mild symptoms for which you would not ordinarily seek medical care.

Patients’ recommendations include the following:

Ask for a mask. Wear a mask if you have flu or cold symptoms, as a patient.

Wash your hands. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue or your upper sleeve.

Additional information

Influenza information — health facts sheets, handouts and resources tools Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://www.cdc.gov/)

Health and Human Services (Flu.gov)

Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) (http://www.wchd.org/)

Posted Dec. 3, 2014

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