It's peak flu season in the Piedmont, and some local hospitals are will begin limiting patient visits starting Friday in a coordinated effort to prevent the spread of the bug.
Cone Health, Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will begin restricting children ages 12 and under, and adults with flu-like symptoms from visiting their facilities. The hope is to limit the spread of the influenza virus H3N2.
Wake Forest Baptist Dr. Christopher Ohl says during this peak flu season, roughly one in ten people in the Triad are carriers, leaving certain patients particularly vulnerable, such as "children under the age of two or adults over the age of sixty-five, or people who have other underlying medical conditions."
"So, if you [have] heart disease, kidney disease or lung disease, and then you get this influenza, it's much more likely you'll be hospitalized with it,” says Ohl.
The temporary visitor restrictions are in effect through the remainder of the flu season. Ohl says some exceptions will be considered. “If it's a real serious situation and the presence of the patient's visitor is to everyone's benefit, then that would be an exception we would entertain if the visitor is healthy. But they would have to talk with the staff and nursing in order to get permission.”
Ohl adds that exceptions would also be made for cases in which the patient's illness is serious enough that family members would need to be present.