The prevalence of the flu is prompting UK HealthCare to temporarily change its hospital visitation policy. According to the Centers For Disease Control, the flu is currently widespread in 50 states and territories, including Kentucky. As of last week, UK HealthCare says it had 165 lab-confirmed influenza cases.
Here are the rules UK HealthCare is implementing to protect patients and employees from the flu:
· No visitors under the age of 12 (except in Bone Marrow Transplant where no visitors under the age of 18).
· No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness.
· Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient's room at one time.
· Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting.
· Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as women's and children's units, critical care and oncology units.
· Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Derek Forster, medical director for infection, prevention, and control says the procedures are designed to help protect, patients, visitors, and staff from exposure to the flu virus. They apply to all UK Healthcare inpatient units including Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, and Eastern State Hospital.
UK HealthCare says anyone six months of age or older should get a flu shot if they haven't already this season.