Due to a recent significant increase in seasonal flu activity, OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is once again asking the public to voluntarily limit hospital visits. This is a precautionary measure to protect patients, visitors, and staff from spreading the flu and other upper respiratory illnesses. Data indicates the influenza A strain is most prevalent.
The following guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Effective immediately, it is requested that:
- Visitors should be at least 18 years of age and older. This will minimize patient exposure to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections, and will also help protect children from contracting an illness while visiting the hospital.
- Individuals who are not feeling well or have had flu-like symptoms in the past seven days should not visit hospitalized patients. Flu-like symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat.
- When entering and leaving a patient’s room, everyone should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand foam/gel. Washing helps limit the spread of disease.
- People should cough or sneeze into their arm, shoulder, or tissue (not hands) to reduce the spread of germs that can be passed from hands touching surfaces or people.
To assist in limiting the spread of disease, please wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand foam/gel when entering and leaving a patient’s room.
For tips on staying healthy during flu season, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm