Cape Fear Valley Health bans children from visiting hospitals to slow spread of flu

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Monday, Cape Fear Valley Health implemented a visitor restriction policy on all of its hospitals for children under the age of 12. The policy is designed to keep children from visiting because of flu concerns.

The policy was created to minimize the spread of flu and flu-like diseases at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center, Behavioral Health Care, Hoke Hospital and Bladen County Hospital, as well as Harnett Health's two hospitals: Betsy Johnson Hospital and Central Harnett Hospital.

People with flu-like symptoms -- fever, cough, sore throat, and runny nose, are urged not to visit friends and family in the hospital. They encouraged to visit their primary care physician for treatment.

Related: How to tell the difference between a cold and the flu

The policy will remain in effect until flu numbers decrease. So far, there have 10 flu deaths for the 2018-2019 season, but officials said the worst is to come.

Experts said antibiotics only fight bacterial infections, not viruses like the flu.

"Taking antibiotics needlessly can sicken users, increase the odds for future infections, and decrease antibiotic effectiveness for everyone," officials said in a news release.

Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands to prevent infections.

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