Rising number of flu cases lead to hospital visiting policy change in Burlington

BURLINGTON, Iowa — The Great River Health Center hospital in Burlington has placed restrictions on visitors due to the rising threat of influenza in the region.

Officials from the health system announced the visitor policy changes, which will be in place until the flu season ends, on Thursday, Dec. 21.

The revised rules are:

General visiting
* People who are 14 or younger are not allowed to visit.

Emergency Department
* Visiting is limited to one adult. Patients who have flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear masks to protect others in treatment and waiting areas.

Obstetrics Unit
* Only spouses or partners, grandparents and healthy siblings of the baby may visit. Siblings must be free from flu symptoms for 48 hours before visiting.

Pediatrics Unit
* If a patient is in isolation for any reason, visitors will be limited to parents and grandparents.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health annual Influenza Surveillance Network, flu activity in the Hawkeye state is sporadic, but climbing.

There have been 25 confirmed influenza A and 10 confirmed influenza B diagnoses so far this year and 21 flu-related hospitalizations. There has been one influenza-associated death so far in Iowa for the 2017 flu season.

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