Due to the rise in flu cases, visitors are being restricted at many of Iowa’s largest medical centers down to the smallest rural hospitals. Some facilities are cutting the number of visitors per room to two, while visitors who have flu-like symptoms are told to stay home.
Deb Thielen, director of nursing at Hamilton Hospital in Webster City, says, “Because there is the increase in the influenza-like illness and there have been some confirmed cases of H-1-N-1 in the county, we’re going to try to limit visitors,” Thielen says. Hospital officials say they’ve seen an overwhelming increase in patients with the flu in recent weeks.
Theilen says it’s in the best interest of the patients to limit their possible exposure to the flu and other contagions. “We are limiting visitors at this time, visitors who are ill or have influenza-like illness for all patients in the hospital,” she says. “For O-B, we’re also limiting those visitors to 18-years and younger, except siblings. The reason is that we’re trying to keep our patients safe.”
A popular Halloween event that’s been held at the hospital for years has been cancelled due to fears about the flu. At Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, would-be visitors are urged to rethink coming in if they have symptoms including: coughing, fever and chills.
Contributed by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City