Flu prompts hospital to discourage some visitors

December 18, 2003

Because of flu and pneumonia, hospital personnel ask people to use caution when considering a visit to patients.

"This year's flu season has arrived earlier than usual and appears to be a bit more serious than in years past," said Barry Michael, president of Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. "Because of that, we are asking individuals to show concern for their loved ones in a way that will help friends and others heal and stay as healthy as possible."

In an effort to protect children, Michael urges parents not to bring children to the hospital as visitors at this time. He also asks that individuals with respiratory illnesses not visit patients while their symptoms are apparent.

"We realize individuals want to be with friends and loved ones during an illness, but it may be more important that they show their concern in other ways, such as calling or sending cards and flowers," Michael said. "Our advice to limit visitors, particularly children, is aimed at protecting both our patients and our visitors."


In an effort to help curb the outbreak of flu and pneumonia, Michael also offers the following information:

* Wash your hands frequently. Individuals should always wash their hands after using the bathroom or before handling food. When washing your hands, use soap and warm water and rub your hands under running water for at least 15 seconds.

* Cover your mouth when coughing. Germs are released into the air if individuals fail to cover their mouths when coughing.

* Avoid crowded places and semi-closed environments. When you are in a crowded environment, it's easier to pick up germs that may cause illness.

* Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat properly and exercise. This keeps you healthy and makes you less susceptible to viruses that can cause the flu.

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