Increase in local flu cases forces area hospitals to enact voluntary visit limitation policy

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DAVENPORT — Due to increasing influenza cases reported across the Quad-Cities region, officials from Genesis Medical Center are asking visitors to its facilities to voluntarily limit their visits if they believe they are sick.

Unity Point-Trinity officials are also asking the public to limit visits.

Both entities sent out media releases Monday, notifying of the stricter visitation guidelines.

With the number of patients testing positive for seasonal flu at Genesis emergency departments on the upswing, the decision was made to enact the voluntary visit limitation policy, according to the Genesis release. Hospital officials are asking that only people who feel “well” visit patients.

Visitors should not come to the hospital to visit patients if they have a sore throat, chills, headache, congestion, runny nose, cough, fever or body aches.  People exhibiting these symptoms will be asked to wear a mask and must clean their hands before entering a patient’s room.

“The best preventive measures to protect against seasonal influenza are a flu vaccination and good hand hygiene,’’ said Lisa Caffery, infection control coordinator, Genesis Health System. “It is not too late to get a flu shot.

The Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network called flu activity sporadic last week in its weekly activity report.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week warned of a possible severe flu season in some areas.