Visitation restrictions begin at Flagstaff Medical Center today

Williams-Grand Canyon News

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Due to the start of the Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season, Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) is implementing annual visitation restrictions in all patient-care areas of the hospital beginning today. Children 12 and under will be restricted to the first floor, common areas of the hospital (unless they are a patient) and cannot be left unattended. These areas include main lobby areas, cafeteria and the dining room. If at all possible, visitors are asked to leave children at home when they come to the hospital to visit patients.

FMC implements annual visitation restrictions during influenza and RSV season as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone who has symptoms of illness such as a fever, headache, sore throat, body aches, congestion or a cough should not visit the hospital unless they require hospital services. Additionally, patients exhibiting these symptoms will be required to wear a mask to minimize the spread of infection, and will be asked to wash their hands frequently.

Influenza and RSV is present in respiratory secretions and can be transmitted when a person coughs or sneezes. The viruses also can be transmitted person-to-person via nasal secretions and contaminated hands.

RSV is a very common virus that causes cold-like symptoms in children and adults. Premature babies whose lungs are not fully developed, newborn infants and those patients with lung or heart conditions are extremely vulnerable to the virus, which can be fatal. A person exposed to RSV can give it to others without even knowing they have it.

These restrictions are expected to last until the influenza and RSV season ends in the spring.

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