Appling HealthCare System issued a news release on Monday, January 13 asking for the community’s help. The health care system is requesting those who plan to visit patients in the hospital be mindful of the fact that it is flu season.
Most people who get the flu will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks. Some people, however, are more likely to get flu complications that result in being hospitalized and occasionally result in death.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, older adults and children with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu; people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience a worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu (CDC, 2013).
For these reasons, the Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Department is asking the community to refrain from visiting patients if you exhibit signs and symptoms of the flu. Flu symptoms include: fever, congestion, and coughing, sneezing and runny nose. In circumstances where clergy and/or close family members must be with a patient, the hospital requests that you pick up a surgical mask and sanitize hands with antibacterial sanitizer at the Information Desk upon entering the hospital.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), “Those between the ages of 0-16 are more likely to acquire and spread the flu and are more likely to be hospitalized.” Therefore, effective immediately visitors to Appling HealthCare System must be 17 years of age or older to visit any area of the facility. This advisory remains in effect throughout the current flu season, or until further notice.
“Help us protect our patients and our community,” said the health care system.