SOUTHPORT—Area hospitals are imposing visitor restrictions due to the spread of the flu this season. Dosher Memorial Hospital has joined New Hanover Regional Medical Center in response to the statewide increased spike of influenza cases.
So far, more than 40 flu-related deaths have been recorded across the state this season, including Brunswick and New Hanover counties.
Wednesday, Dosher Memorial Hospital decided to impose visitor restrictions.
“Of the dozens of patients that have come to the hospital complaining of flu symptoms, 35 have had the flu this month,” James Goss, spokesman for Dosher Memorial Hospital, said.
Goss said that of the 35 patients confirmed to have the flu, 20 percent of the patients have been above the age of 60 and 20 percent have been under 20 years of age.
“We started to see a spike in our positive influenza tests,” Lisa Tyson, infection preventionist for the hospital, said.
Tyson says the hospital will not allow visitors under the age of 12. Sick or recently sick visitors should wait 48 hours after symptoms have passed before visiting.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center has had visitor restrictions in place since Dec. 18.
“We typically do that when we see an uptick to protect the patients,” said Carolyn Fisher, spokeswoman for the hospital.
At NHRMC, children under the age of 12 are discouraged from visiting. If young children decide to come, they must wear a mask.
For additional information on North Carolina flu outbreak, symptoms and advice, visit http://www.flu.nc.gov/.
Update: The age of flu patients has been updated for accuracy.