Hospital tells people with flu symptoms to not visit patients

Health

Hospital tells people with flu symptoms to not visit patients

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YUMA, AZ - Arizona is one of 47 states where the flu is widespread. That's prompted the Yuma Regional Medical Center to place restrictions on who is allowed to visit patients during this flu season.                 

Effective immediately the Yuma Regional Medical Center will not be allowing people under 18 into the waiting room or patient care areas. The only exception would be children who are with their parents.

"This particular virus, the strains, this year tends to be more virulent," said Doctor Bart Bernstein, Pediatric at Yuma Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Bernstein compares this year's strand of the flu virus to the deadly H1N1 flu virus that killed 12,000 people in 2009. "It looks like this year is going to be one of the most severe seasons we've had in the past 10 years," he said.

"We don't want to wait in a situation where we know that most likely the severity is going to impact us very heavily and what we can do at this point is limit contact, which is the primary motive to spread this disease from person to person," said Doctor Bernstein.

For those over 18 years of age, the Yuma Regional Medical Center is asking that if you suffer any flu like symptoms such as a fever, cough, aches and pains, nausea, chills or a runny nose, to please stay home and not visit patients at the hospital.

"The intensity and the numbers of affected people are more severe than what we typically see in the typical flu season," said Doctor Bernstein.

He also says the flu bug can spread without coming in direct contact with someone.

"Unfortunately this virus will stay alive on dry surfaces for sometimes hours and so you can touch that, and touch your face and get infected without ever being in contact with a sick person."

Dr. Bernstein says the best way to avoid getting the flu is stay away from sick people, wash your hands, use sanitizer and get vaccinated.

So far there have been 22 reported flu cases in Yuma. In Imperial County, there have been 10 lab confirmed flu cases, nine of the ten cases were children. 

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