FMC implements visitation restrictions during flu season

Jan. 11, 2013

Due to the early start and severity of this year’s Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season, FMC is implementing visitation restrictions effective immediately in all patient-care areas of the hospital. Children 12 and under will be restricted to first-floor, common areas of the hospital (unless they are a patient) and cannot be left unattended. These areas include main lobby areas and the Cafeteria and the Dining Room. If at all possible, visitors are asked to leave children at home when they come to the hospital to visit patients.

Anyone who has symptoms of illness such as a fever, headache, sore throat, body aches, congestion or a cough should not visit the hospital unless they require hospital services. Additionally, patients exhibiting these symptoms will be required to wear a mask to minimize the spread of infection, and will be asked to wash their hands frequently.
Influenza and RSV is present in respiratory secretions and can be transmitted when a person coughs or sneezes. The viruses also can be transmitted person-to-person via nasal secretions and contaminated hands.

RSV is a very common virus that causes cold-like symptoms in children and adults. Premature babies whose lungs are not fully developed, newborn infants and those patients with lung or heart conditions are extremely vulnerable to the virus, which can be fatal. A person exposed to RSV can give it to others without even knowing they have it.

These restrictions are expected to last until the influenza and RSV season ends in the spring.