AnMed Health is requesting that all children and anyone with symptoms of cold, flu or respiratory illness refrain from visiting hospitalized patients until the height of the current flu season passes.
A mandatory visitation restriction is not currently in effect, but AnMed Health infection prevention experts urge visitors to take precautions to avoid spreading influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
“This has turned into a very busy flu season, and a dangerous one for some people,” said AnMed Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Halliday. “We are asking the public’s help in preventing illness by limiting unnecessary contact and keeping hands washed. This is important to each of us individually and to the community as a whole.”
Precautions include not exposing patients to visitors who are sick, or visitors to sick patients.
For the week ending Dec. 13, South Carolina DHEC changed their statewide assessment of the flu season from “regional” to “widespread,” with 3,742 new cases statewide. By Dec. 24, AnMed Health had confirmed 215 cases since the flu season began in September. Statewide, lab tests have confirmed eight deaths caused by flu.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that between 5 percent and 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu, and it is estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized on average for flu-related complications each year.