Rise in flu cases leads to visitor restrictions at hospitals

Rise in flu cases leads to visitor restrictions at hospitals

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A significant increase in flu cases across most of Alabama has prompted our hospital officials to put visitor restrictions in place.

With flu and flu-like illnesses widespread across the state, Jackson Hospital and East Alabama Medical Center have made the decision to enforce visitor restrictions.

"It’s pretty much an epidemic around the community. I know that recently we’ve had 233 confirmed cases of the flu, that’s really causing a lot of problems,” said EAMC Registered Nurse Blake McCleellan.

Hospital-wide visitation is restricted to healthy, immediate family members who are age 12 and older.

These visitor restrictions are on display for everyone to see and officials at the hospital say the goal is to try to protect visitors, patients, and the staff.

“Certainly it’s nice to have a visitor come see a patient, we always want to encourage that, but if there’s any concerns at all that you might be sick or that maybe the patient is sick and you could get it from them, then we certainly want to avoid those situations,” said EAMC PR & Marketing Director John Atkinson.

Jackson Hospital is also restricting visitation to healthy adults 12 and older.

“It’ll continue through flu season until we feel like it’s not a problem anymore,” said Jackson Hospital Communication Specialist Jessica Barefoot.

If you find yourself with free flu or flu-like symptoms, there are things you can do to help.

“If you do have the flu it is recommended that you isolate yourself, if at all possible. You’ve got to let this thing take its course. Stay hydrated, treat the fever, treat the symptoms,” said McCleellan.

It’s also recommended that you get the flu vaccine.

Officials urge that you do your best to help stop the spread of the flu virus by washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water and using hand sanitizer to clean your hands in public places.

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