With more cases of the flu being reported, New Hanover Regional Medical Center clamps down on visitors

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New Hanover Regional Medical Center. File photo.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center. File photo.

WILMINGTON — New Hanover Regional Medical Center on Monday announced a series of restrictions on visitors as more cases of the flu are reported throughout the region. The restrictions, according to a press release, are meant to limit the spread of the flu in hospital facilities.

Those with flu symptoms are asked not to visit patients. Also, those caring for children are asked not to bring a child into any of the medical center’s facilities, unless the child is being treated.

Paul Kamitsuka, the hospital’s chief epidemiologist, said the risk of spreading the flu among children is high.

“Often children can be contagious before flu symptoms appear,” Kamitsuka said. “By restricting children during this heightened time, we can help protect them and prevent the spread of flu among vulnerable patients.”

Children who visit a NHRMC hospital will be asked to wear a mask, the release states.  Masks will also be given to those with flu-like symptoms seeking care. 

The hospital suggests those with flu symptoms consider calling, using FaceTime or Skype, or sending notes or cards to patients, rather than visiting.

“We know visits are important to families, but safety needs to be the top concern,” Kamitsuka said. “We appreciate the community’s support in protecting our patients and children.”