Area hospitals begin visitor restrictions - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Area hospitals begin visitor restrictions

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Prompted by the presence of the H1N1 virus and an increase in flu-like symptoms across the Tri-State, many area hospitals are beginning visitor restrictions, effective immediately.

Hospital officials say the limited visitation policies serve as a precautionary measure, designed to minimize the spread of respiratory illnesses that may include the H1N1 virus to hospital patients and health care workers.

Most area hospitals are initiating the following restrictions:

  • No visitation by anyone who is ill with any respiratory symptoms including coughing or fever, etc.
  • No visitation by anyone under age 14

"We normally see an increase in flu-like illnesses a bit later in the season," said Tonda Francis, vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council.  "However, the flu season is starting earlier this year, and hospitals want to do everything they can to keep their patients safe.  In order to limit their potential exposure to flu-like illnesses, we are taking this precautionary step at this time," she said.

In addition, due to the unique vulnerability of the pediatric population to the H1N1 virus, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will implement restrictions that further limit visitation to parents and guardians only.

Hospitals' decisions about visiting restrictions vary with the types of patients they serve and the specific services provided.  For example, those hospitals serving special patient populations such as burn, transplant or ICU patients may institute even more restrictive visitation policies.

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