Mission Health activates Visitor Limitation Policy due to increased influenza-like activity

Mission Health is implementing its Visitor Limitation Policy and asking patients’ family members and friends to limit hospital visits, effective Jan. 3. Visitors younger than 12 and those who do not feel well are encouraged to call patients instead of visiting them. All persons visiting the hospital and community members should practice good hand hygiene.

There have been reports of an increase in reported influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Public Health Division, flu-like illness in the state has reached more than 2 percent and local transmission has increased.

This precaution is being implemented at Mission Hospital, member hospitals and affiliates in the western North Carolina region, which includes CarePartners in Asheville, Mission Hospital McDowell in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.

“We activate our Visitor Limitation Policy for the health and safety of our patients,” said Kathy Guyette, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and President of Regional Member Hospitals. “It is a vital precaution in preventing the spread of germs and in helping protect our community during flu season.”

Mission Health team members and visitors can help prevent the spread of influenza by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if they are sick and getting an annual influenza vaccine. All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visits. In addition, hand sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings.

Practicing good hand hygiene is the No. 1 precaution individuals can take to protect against the flu virus and other germs. Individuals can also practice good habits like avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering your cough, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining physical activity levels, managing your stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious food.

Symptoms that could be early signs of the flu include fever, headache, cough, extreme dehydration, lightheadedness and shortness of breath. Treatment with antivirals is the most helpful within the first 48 hours of symptoms presenting. If you start to experience any of these symptoms or notice them in someone else, contact your primary care provider or seek medical care immediately.

Know where to get care and learn more before you visit a Mission Health location at missionhealth.org/flu.

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