Local hospitals limit visitation to reduce flu risk


Local area hospitals are limiting their visitors to reduce flu risk.

The visitor restrictions start Thursday at Elkhart General Hospital and South Bend Memorial Hospital.

Hospital Patients will only be allowed only two adult visitors at a time.

Children under the age of 18 are restricted from visiting the hospitals until further notice.

In a statement Beacon Health System wrote:

Both hospitals this week are reporting a higher volume of patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms in our emergency departments compared to last week, and compared to early January 2017. By limiting visitors, Beacon hopes to protect patients and their families as the number of flu cases climbs.
So far this season, Influenza A (H3N2) has been identified as the most commonly seen virus, often causing more severe illness than other flu strains. Hospital officials also have seen an increase in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which causes lung and respiratory infections in young children.

Saint Joseph Health System is also announcing visitor restrictions.

The same rules apply, so no children and only two healthy adults per patient are allowed to visit.

The restrictions are in effect at St. Paul's Life Plan Community, Holy Cross, Rehabilitation Institute at Elm Road and Mishawaka and Plymouth Medical Centers.

In addition to vaccination, here are other ways to protect yourself against the flu:

• Contain the illness by keeping sick people away from others. Stay home if you are sick, or wear a mask or cover your mouth with a scarf if you leave home.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water after every cough or sneeze and periodically throughout the day.

• Keep your environment clean. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls and phones or tablets.

• Follow a healthy lifestyle: maintain a good diet, get adequate rest, don’t smoke, and take care of any other medical problems you may have.

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