GASTONIA, NC – In order to help control the spread of flu and flu-like illness, CaroMont
Health announced today it will temporarily restrict hospital visitors
under the age of 13 to CaroMont Regional Medical Center beginning Wednesday,
January 8 at 7 a.m. Additionally, guests who have compromised immune systems
or are experiencing flu-like symptoms should not visit a patient in the
hospital during this time. This restriction also includes visitors to
“The number of influenza and influenza-like illness cases presenting
to our emergency departments and doctors’ offices has continued
to climb in recent days,” said Todd Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer
at CaroMont Health. “The decision to implement these restrictions
was made by medical and nursing leaders and under the recommendation of
Infection Prevention experts. Putting visitor restrictions in place is
a necessary step to ensure we protect our patients, staff and visitors,
as well as reduce the risk of exposing vulnerable populations.”
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.
Visitor restrictions continue to be implemented annually to address upticks
in influenza presentation. These restrictions are similar to those being
implemented by hospitals across the state. The visitor restriction plan
will remain in place until the incidence of flu and flu-like illness subsides
and CaroMont Health officials, in accordance with Centers for Disease
Control recommendations, determine it is no longer needed.
“We have seen a consistent increase in the number of patients presenting
with flu-like symptoms over the last several days,” said Dr. Erik
Schuls, Physician Administrator for Acute Care at CaroMont Health. “That
sustained uptick is the indicator that triggers visitor restriction for
hospitals across the state and country. Limiting possible exposure for
individuals who are at-risk for contracting the flu is in the best interest
of our patients and the community.”
The following health systems will also implement visitor restrictions beginning
Wednesday: Atrium Health, Blue Ridge Health, Cone Health, Novant Health,
Randolph Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health.
More about the flu:
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 shirtsleeve 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 many liquids and get plenty of rest.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family
from the flu.