"As health care providers, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our patients from the spread of illness," said WakeMed Chief Medical Officer West Lawson.
State health officials have said the flu outbreak in North Carolina in a decade. In early December, a reported 12 people had died from flu-related complications.
WakeMed's new restrictions are:
- No visitors under the age of 18 years of age are permitted without prior approval from a WakeMed health care provider
- Each patient is limited to 2 adult visitors at a time
- WakeMed staff asks all visitors not to visit patients if they are ill. Symptoms of concern include: fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours.
- WakeMed staff will direct any ill family members or visitors to please return home
- WakeMed encourages family members and friends that are unable to visit patients due to age or illness to use alternative means of communication including phone, email or social media (Facebook, Skype, etc.).
The new restrictions take effect December 31.
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Duke University Health System have issued similar restrictions in recent weeks.