Triangle hospitals restrict visitors

RALEIGH Hospital officials hope their efforts will protect patients from contracting the flu.

In Raleigh, restrictions at Rex Hospital will go into effect Monday, October 5. All visitors under the age of 12 will be restricted to all areas of the hospital.

Rex said it will also restrict visitation by individuals of any age who have influenza-like symptoms.

Officials say the restrictions will protection current patients.

WakeMed Health & Hospitals also announced its restrictions will begin October 5.

WakeMed released the following restrictions Friday:

  • Visitation restriction begins October 5
  • Visitation will be restricted to persons over the age of 18 throughout the system
  • Visitation to the pediatric units will be restricted to parents and direct caregivers
  • Visitation to the Intensive Care Nursery will be restricted to parents, direct caregivers and grandparents
  • All patients should only have 1 to 2 visitors at a time
  • Visitation is restricted to persons in good health (ie. not ill -- no fever, vomiting, diarrhea or cold or flu-like symptoms)

Duke University Medical Center and UNC Hospitals also are enacting similar policies.

And in Fayetteville, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center announced Friday it will put up signs and posters on its doors.

No children will be allowed inside the hospital and visitors will be advised to use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving.

For information on where to get a a regular flu vaccination in Wake County, click here.

To find a flu vaccination clinic anywhere in NC, click here.

Health officials say the H1N1 vaccine will be ready for distribution beginning mid- to late October. An exact date of availability is not known, but the state started placing its orders Thursday.

The CDC has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These priority groups include:

  • pregnant women;
  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age;
  • healthcare and emergency medical services personnel;
  • children and young people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old;
  • and people ages 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

To prepare, health officials are changing regular flu vaccine rules. Pharmacies can give flu shots to children 14 years old and older.

The change will allow more people to get vaccinated.

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