Due to an increase in flu cases seen at the hospital, CaroMont Regional
Medical Center announced temporary visitor restrictions for children under
the age of 13 and guests who have compromised immune systems or are experiencing
flu-like symptoms. Those individuals who fall into either of those categories
will not be allowed to visit the hospital unless they are seeking medical
treatment. In order to protect newborns and their mothers, this restriction
also includes visitors to The Birthplace. Visitor restrictions will be
effective beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, January 2.
“We constantly monitor the incidence of patients with infectious
illnesses, and we have seen a significant increase of patients with flu-like
symptoms in our hospital,” said Dr. Todd Davis, Vice President of
Medical Affairs and Patient Safety Officer at CaroMont Health. “The
decision to implement these restrictions was made by a team of doctors
and infectious disease professionals after an extensive review of local,
state and national data about the incidence and impact of the flu.”
The restriction announced today was developed and implemented in previous
years to address influenza outbreaks. This season’s determination
was led by the efforts of a clinical team comprised of: Todd Davis, MD,
Vice President, Medical Affairs & Patient Safety Officer; Costa Andreou,
MD, Acute Care Service Line Physician Lead; Tom Ashar, MD, Medical Director,
Emergency Services; Jason Justice, MD, Medical Director, Critical Care;
Harish Marisiddaiah, MD, Acute Care Service Line Quality Physician &
Infectious Disease Specialist; Karim Nazer, MD, Associate Director, CaroMont
Hospitalist Program and Nancy Harless, RN, Interim Director, Infection
“More than 10 percent of our patients are presenting with flu-like
symptoms and that number is the indicator which triggers visitor restriction
for hospitals across the state and country,” said Dr. Harish Marisiddaiah,
Acute Care Service Line Quality Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist
at CaroMont Health. “Limiting possible exposure for individuals
who are at-risk for contracting the flu is in the best interest of our
patients and the community.”
These temporary restrictions are intended to help limit the transmission
of the virus and will be lifted when flu levels at the hospital subside.
“This is a serious illness, and we want to be sure we are doing all
we can to protect our patients, visitors, employees and volunteers,”
said Dr. Davis.
More about the flu:
Typically, the flu virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes
near a susceptible person or contact is made with a contaminated surface.
Adults tend to spread the virus from the day before symptoms begin through
5-10 days after the onset of the illness. Young children and individuals
with compromised immune systems may take longer to present symptoms and
are more likely to spread the virus to more people.
Typical flu symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or higher and any of
- Cough and/or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Headache and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
To avoid contracting the flu, it is strongly encouraged that you take certain
precautions such as:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirt sleeve when you cough
or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue in a trash receptacle after each use.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough
or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as these areas are vehicles for
germs to enter the body.
- Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals when possible.
- Contact your health provider and/or local health departments for the flu vaccine.
- Drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family
from the flu.