Hospital Visitors limited as Flu spreads - - Jackson, MS

Hospital Visitors limited as Flu spreads

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hospitals are cracking down on visitors as the flu virus continues to spread across the nation. St. Dominic's Emergency Room reports testing at least twenty-five people a day for the flu and that about half of those test are coming back positive.

"We're asking our staff if they have any signs of influenza not to report to work," said St. Dominic's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eric McVey. "We're asking visitors if they have any signs of influenza not to come."

Doctor McVey says it's been several years since St. Dominic's has had to use these increased restrictions, but he's hoping it will help stop the in-house spread of the virus and that this will allow the hospital a chance to free up critical care space while, also, keeping staff healthy.

"We've not had widespread reporting of staff not being able to report because of influenza, but we've certainly had a few and have had some staffing issues associated with that," added Dr. McVey.

UMMC enacted these restrictions back in December, but officials at Baptist Health Systems say they aren't planning on using those measures just yet. Baptist just plans to continue with extra signage and hand washing stations; an effort, a spokesman says, they do every year during this time.

Other than practicing good hygiene and keeping sanitizer handy, Dr. McVey says the shot is still your best bet for protecting yourself against the flu virus.

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