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Nash UNC takes flu precautions

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, January 7, 2019

Because of a recent surge of flu cases diagnosed at the hospital, Nash UNC Health Care has implemented its Influenza Plan that includes visitor restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of flu to patients, visitors and staff.

“Because of the increase in flu cases, we are asking the public to help stop the spread of flu by not visiting our patients if they have any symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and body aches,” said Connie Clark, manager of infection prevention at Nash UNC Health Care.

Clark said the hospital is also discouraging visits by children.

“Children under the age of 12 are strongly encouraged not to visit. These restrictions are common practice during flu season and are intended to help protect visitors, children, patients and staff from further spread of flu. Because our patients already have suppressed immune systems, we want to reduce the exposure to additional germs as much as possible,” Clark said in a press release from hospital.

This season’s first case of Influenza was reported on Oct. 25 at Nash UNC Health Care. In November, 10 cases were diagnosed at the hospital and another 40 were diagnosed in December. As of Jan. 3. a total of 62 cases have been diagnosed and treated at the hospital, Clark said.

“Flu Alert” visitor restriction signs are posted in all entryways to the hospital, and visitors with children will be told by hospital staff about the risks of visiting, the press release said. Personal protection stations with masks, hand sanitizer and tissues have been placed in high-traffic areas throughout the hospital.

Hospital staff are available to answer any questions about visitation or other questions related to the flu.

In lieu of visiting, people may choose to send their loved one a “Cheer Card,” a new service offered by Nash UNC Health Care. Anyone can visit nashunchealthcare.org/cheercards to create a greeting card for their loved one in the hospital.

The user can choose to have the card emailed directly to the patient or have the card printed and delivered by Nash UNC’s office of Hospitality Services & Volunteers during normal business hours. There is no cost to send a cheer card.

Friends and family members may also call the Thoughts of You Gift Shop at 252-962-8139 to purchase a gift or floral arrangement to be delivered to a patient’s room.

“We want to work with our patients’ loved ones to help relay messages or share their greetings with the patients,” Clark said. “We thank the public for their cooperation in helping us protect our patients, staff and visitors.”

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