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Visitors Restricted Due to Influenza Outbreak

February 05, 2018

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital has put a temporary visitor restriction in place due to the increased outbreak of influenza in the area, according to Sharon Conroy, RN, Community Hospital Infection Prevention Nurse. Staff at the hospital is asking that people do not visit patients if they have a fever of more than 100 degrees and have a cough and/or a sore throat. Those who have been sick should not visit the hospital until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication. Children under 12 will not be allowed to visit patients during this time.

Visitors should remember to wash their hands often. Coughs should be covered by using a tissue or coughing into a sleeve.

“The restriction will be lifted as soon as we see a reduction of influenza-like illness in our area. Influenza is an illness that most recover from, but for hospitalized patients influenza can have a devastating outcome,” Conroy said. Conroy added that if someone has not yet gotten their flu shot, it is not too late to get vaccinated.

The flu hospitalization rate is the highest rate for this point in the year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began enhanced surveillance of laboratory-confirmed flu hospitalizations during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009-2010, the CDC announced on Friday.

Flu symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Emergency warning signs of flu sickness in children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Emergency warning signs of flu sickness in adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

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