January 15, 2018
William Newton Hospital Issues Flu Precautions
In response to the high number of influenza cases in our community, William Newton Hospital has issued warnings to visitors.
“It’s critical that we protect patients, staff and volunteers from contracting influenza, while taking steps to further prevent the spread of the virus in our community,” Infection Control Coordinator, Karen DeBoard, BSN RN, stated.
William Newton Hospital strongly recommends the following:
- Limiting visitors to two at a time per patient.
- Keeping children at home, when possible.
- Using respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, including covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and using the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of tissue after use.
- Performing proper hand hygiene (e.g., handwashing with soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
- Following precautions (contact and droplet) by wearing a gown, mask, and gloves when those signs are posted by patient doors.
In addition, William Newton Hospital requests visitors exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms stay home:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
DeBoard also shared some guidelines for those suffering from influenza. Anyone sick with a flu-like illness should:
- Stay home until 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
- Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
According to DeBoard, William Newton Hospital has reported 16 positive tests for Influenza A with two hospitalized and five positive tests for Influenza B with one hospitalized during the period January 1 to January 15. Those tested include inpatients, ER patients, and outpatients.
“If you have not received a flu shot this year, vaccinations are available at most local pharmacies,” encouraged DeBoard.
William Newton Hospital administration thanks visitors for taking these steps to protect loved ones and for following the recommendations to inhibit the spread of influenza throughout the community.