Owensboro, KY (WFIE) - There is an increase in flu cases in the area, and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital has put visitor restrictions into place as a safeguard.
Hospital officials say the restrictions will remain in place until further notice and are meant to limit the chances that someone infected with the flu could pass it to a patient.
They say over the past seven days, they’ve had 88 positive flu tests. So far in January, Owensboro Health has recorded 140 cases of the flu.
For healthy adults, influenza can be extremely unpleasant and debilitating. For the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the flu can be deadly. A person who is infected with the virus can be contagious up to 24 hours before they begin to show symptoms, meaning a person who appears and feels healthy can still pass it to others.
Visitor restrictions at OHRH include the following actions:
· Visitors should be kept to a minimum and should only include persons essential for the patient’s care and emotional well-being.
· No children under age 18 will be allowed to visit patients.
· Anyone with a cold, respiratory illness or flu symptoms is asked to refrain from visiting.
o These symptoms include one or more of the following: Fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose and/or sneezing, muscle/body aches, headaches and fatigue.
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to the flu and other contagious illnesses! The first step in this prevention is to use good hand hygiene. Handwashing with soap and water, or using a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if hands aren’t visibly soiled), should be done often. It’s also important to cover your cough and sneezes. Prevent contamination of hands and surfaces by directing coughs and sneezes into your sleeve at the inside of your elbow. Germs don’t spread easily from that location.
Another key part of prevention is the flu vaccine. Flu shots can protect you from getting the flu, or at least can give you partial immunity, meaning the flu will be less severe and shorter in duration. Being vaccinated can also keep you from spreading the flu to others, which helps keep them safe and healthy.