Flu makes UK HealthCare tighten visitation rules

UK HealthCare has temporarily changed its visitation policy to help protect its patients and health care workers during the flu season, the University of Kentucky said in a news release. The measures include:

  • No visitors under the age of 12
  • No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness
  • Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient’s room at one time
  • Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting
  • Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as women’s and children’s units, critical care and oncology units.
  • Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

These measures are for all UK HealthCare inpatient units, which include UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Eastern State Hospital.

Kentucky is among 29 states and territories reporting widespread flu, which is the highest level and means at least half the regions in the state have reported confirmed cases of the flu. Last year at this time four states had reported widespread flu, says the release.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that some of the nation’s circulating flu viruses have not been covered by this years vaccine, it is still recommended that everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot.

“A flu vaccine is still the first and best way to prevent influenza,” Kim Blanton, enterprise director for infection prevention and control at UK HealthCare, said in the release.

Flu antiviral drugs are available and work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu, says the release.

It is also important to wash your hands often, avoid people who are sick and stay home if you are sick to help prevent it from spreading.

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