OSF HealthCare and Carle Clinic are now both temporarily limiting patient visits. Representatives from both say it is because of an increase in seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.
Both OSF and Carle are requesting that visitors be at least 18 years of age. A statement from OSF said that will minimize exposure of patients to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections, and will protect children from contracting an illness while visiting the hospital.
Carle is requesting only two visitors at a time in patient rooms. And citizens who have a respiratory illness should not visit the hospital, or they should wear a mask if they do visit.
The new visitor restrictions apply to both OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville and OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana.
Citizens are asked not to visit hospitalized patients if they are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms over the past week. The symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or a sore throat.
In order to help prevent spreading the disease, visitors are asked to wash their hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based foam or gel when entering and leaving patient rooms.
Visitors are also reminded they should cough or sneeze into tissues, and then immediately throw those tissues away and wash your hands.
More tips on staying healthy during the flu season can be found by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm.
Carle is also encouraging citizens to get a flu shot if they have not already got one. Carle says even at this late date the vaccination can still help protect you from the flu virus.