SMH initiates flu restrictions


Scott Witten - Editor



LAURINBURG — Scotland Health Care System is instituting visitor restrictions beginning on Wednesday.

Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to visit Scotland Memorial Hospital until the spread of seasonal flu has been minimized.

Anyone with an appointment to a physician practice/clinic, the Emergency Center, or other outpatient location will be asked by registration personnel if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. A yes response will trigger a request by the registration personnel for the individual to wear a mask. All registration areas will have a supply of masks at their disposal.

Also to minimize the risk to patients and the general public, visitors experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, diarrhea or vomiting are discourage from visiting hospital. Visitors must be symptom-free for 48 hours before coming to the hospital.

“Flu season is officially upon us at Scotland Health Care System. The flu has been declared as widespread and we have experienced a significant increase in the number of flu cases recently,” said Dr. Cheryl Davis, Scotland Memorial Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. “Based upon medical evidence and past flu trending data provided by the state, Scotland Health Care System Flu Season Organizational Response begins.”

Three new flu deaths, including the death of a child, have been reported in North Carolina, raising the state’s death toll so far this season to 12.

That’s according to numbers released Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health. The deaths were reported between Dec. 17 and 23.

The child, who lived in central North Carolina, is the first pediatric death reported in the state for the 2017-2018 flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nine pediatric flu deaths have been reported across the country as of Dec. 16. The CDC says that many children who die as a result of the flu have no known medical condition that put them at higher risk for complications of the illness.

For the protection of all patients and visitors,

Davis offers these defenses against the flu:

— Wash your hands often with soap and water and frequently clean your living area and commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, counter tops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas

— Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze

· Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth

— Avoid contact with people who are sick

For information about flu restrictions, call the Infections Prevention Practitioner at 910-291-7595.

Scott Witten

Editor

Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023

Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023

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