Hospital (PRH) has implemented temporary visitor restrictions to help curb
the spread of illness to patients and employees, following a determination
by the Indiana State Department of Health (IDSH), on Dec. 23, that
influenza-type illnesses are “widespread in the state.”
In the same report,
IDSH found that the number of flu-associated deaths had risen to nine.
PRH has accordingly
established the following temporary visitor restrictions:
* Only two visitors
per patient will be permitted at a time.
* Anyone under the
age of 18, or exhibiting flu-like symptoms, is not permitted to visit
* Visiting hours
will be strictly enforced.
* Before entering
or leaving the hospital, please wash your hands with soap and/or sanitizers
available throughout the hospital.
“Influenza is a
respiratory illness,” PRH said. “Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle
aches, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.
Influenza is not what many people call the ‘stomach flu,’ which includes
nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In fact, while some people (especially
younger children) with influenza may feel mild nausea or diarrhea, influenza
is not the same as a stomach virus or a bacterial stomach infection.”
“Anyone who has any
similar symptoms to influenza, or any stomach-type illness, should not visit
patients in the hospital,” PRH noted.
“Influenza can be a
dangerous infection, especially for babies, the elderly, or those with
compromised immune systems.”
“There is no cure
for the flu, but there are some medications that can ease the symptoms or
shorten the length of the illness,” PRH added.
“If you suspect you
have the flu, over-the-counter medications to manage fever, aches, and
coughs and congestion may help. If you need medical attention, are elderly,
an infant, or have a compromised immune system, it is best to see a doctor
within 48 hours of recognizing symptoms, so the right medication to shorten
the length of the illness can be given.”
CareExpress urgent care is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week at
locations in Valparaiso, Chesterton and Portage. Walk-ins are welcome, or
make an appointment online at porterhealth.com/urgent-care.
the Porter Health Care System emergency departments in Valparaiso and
Portage are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Members of the
community can take steps to avoid the flu by getting the flu vaccine,
washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizers, covering coughs
appropriately (use a tissue and discard, or cough into your arm instead of
your hands), and staying home from work and school if you are sick,” PRH
said. “Avoid touching your nose, ears, and eyes and avoid being around those
who are sick.”
information about the flu in Indiana, visit in.gov/isdh and search for
influenza. For information in general about the flu visit the Center for
Disease Control’s website at cdc.gov/flu