With a flu epidemic affecting much of the country, local hospitals are hoping to protect their patients by keeping visits to a minimum.
Mount Auburn Hospital website is limiting people who can visit the post-partum unit (mothers and babies) to help limit the spread of the flu virus:
Influenza Illness Screening Tool It is routine policy to restrict visitors to Post-Partum (Mother Baby Unit) who have symptoms of communicable disease. Given the current outbreak of influenza in the community, ALL visitors shall be actively screened for the presence of influenza like illness. If any of the symptoms below are present (or were present within the last 24 hours), that person should not be allowed to visit N5/ST5.
- Do you have a fever (100°F or greater)? A fever occurs when your body temperature increases in response to illness or injury. Your temperature is considered elevated when it is 100°F or greater.
- Do you have dry cough, sore throat, or nasal congestion/runny nose? One or more of these symptoms is usually present with any upper respiratory infection including influenza
- Do you have muscle aches? Body aches that are sudden and unexplained can be a sign of the flu.
- Do you have chills? Body chills not related to a cold environment can be a sign of the flu.
Similar restrictions have been put in place at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, according to the hospital's website. The visitor limitations include:
- For medical or surgical patients - two visitors per patient at a time
- Maternity patients - Parents plus two visitors per patient at a time
- No visitors under the age of 12
- If you have the flu or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose), do not visit a patient
- If you have not had a flu shot, do not visit a patient
Flu shots are available at the Mount Auburn Hospital walk-in center. Also, the Watertown Health Department is holding a flu clinic on Friday afternoon. See details here.
For more information on how to prevent the flu, check out these tips from the CDC.