Flu forces some North Carolina hospitals to limit visits

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It's flu season, and that means many North Carolina hospitals are starting to limit visits to keep ill patients from catching the virus.

As in years past, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, Rex Hospital in Raleigh, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Fayetteville, and the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville have extra visitation rules. WakeMed generally asks visitors not to come if they have symptoms of illness.

UNC Hospitals is prohibiting visitors under age 12 in any patient rooms. The hospital has also banned all visitors who have flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or a runny nose.

Rex Hospital is using a similar plan. Children under 12 are restricted from parts of the emergency department.

The Fayetteville VA is asking those under age 18 to avoid visits to the hospital or community outpatient clinics. Patients with flu-like symptoms are being asked to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville has restricted children 12 and under from the hospital, and limited the number of patient visitors in ERs at its medical facilities in Cumberland, Bladen and Harnett Counties.

There have been five flu-related deaths in North Carolina so far this flu season.

Flu symptoms can include a fever of 100 degrees or higher, a cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and/or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

The flu itself can last 7-10 days.

Get more information at www.flu.nc.gov.

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