The Transylvania Times -

Hospital Limits Visits Because Of Flu Season


January 4, 2018

Mission Health has implemented its visitor limitation policy and is asking patients’ family members and friends to limit hospital visits, including at Transylvania Regional Hospital.

Visitors younger than 12 and those who do not feel well are encouraged to call patients instead of visiting them.

According to the N.C. Public Health Division, the influenza-like illness activity in the state has reached more than 2 percent and local transmission has increased.

“We activate our visitor limitation policy for the health and safety of our patients,” said Kathy Guyette, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and president of Regional Member Hospitals. “It is a vital precaution in preventing the spread of germs and in helping protect our community during flu season.”

Mission Health team members and visitors can help prevent the spread of influenza by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if they are sick and getting an annual influenza vaccine.

All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visits. In addition, hand-sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings. Practicing good hand hygiene is the No. 1 precaution individuals can take to protect against the flu virus and other germs.

Individuals can also practice good habits like avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering your cough, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining physical activity levels, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious food.

Symptoms that could be early signs of the flu include fever, headache, cough, extreme dehydration, lightheadedness and shortness of breath.

Treatment with antivirals is the most helpful within the first 48 hours of symptoms presenting. Contact your primary care provider if you start to experience any of these symptoms or notice them in someone else.

Flu Season In Transylvania

The full impact of the flu season doesn’t appear to be “hitting” Transylvania County right now, according to Tara Rybka, the county Health Department’s public health educator.

“We haven’t had any deaths so far this year, and only one case in any of the county long-term care facilities,” she said. “Our school nurses weren’t seeing cases in the schools before winter break, and our county employee wellness clinic hasn’t been seeing flu cases, either.”

Accurate flu numbers are hard to come by, Rybka said.

“Health care providers are not required to report cases of flu to health departments,” she said. “Only flu deaths and cases in facilities like nursing homes are mandatory reportable. There are sentinel sites located throughout the state that report cases of flu-like illness, but those serve as an estimate rather than counting every single case of flu, and none are located in Transylvania County.”


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