Dr. William Cobb, infectious disease specialist for Dixie Regional said, “We are anticipating and preparing for a higher than average number of flu cases based on recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. To keep the hospital as safe as possible for our patients, we are currently asking that visitors be at least 14 years old, as younger children frequently transmit viruses. We are also asking patients to limit visitors for their safety and that of our staff.”
Healthcare professionals at the hospital have not seen a marked increase in flu cases yet, but believe it is wise to be proactive about potential spread of illness, rather than reactive. Dr. Cobb said, “We are hoping the community will be supportive as we balance the desire for visitors to see loved patients with patient safety concerns. We also want to increase community awareness that further visitation restrictions may be implemented, if we do see a significant increase in the number of patients being hospitalized with influenza.”
Dr. Cobb encourages people to follow public health prevention measures by getting a flu shot, washing hands frequently, coughing or sneezing into the shoulder rather than hands, and disposing of tissues properly. “Those who are ill should stay at home, as should well infants younger than one year,” he said. He stressed that “at home” means away from public places like school, movies, church, shopping and daycare. For more information about visitation at Dixie Regional, call (435) 251-2108.