As of today, WakeMed Health & Hospitals is ending the age-related visitation restrictions (no children under the age of 18 permitted in patient care areas) that were created to help stop the spread of H1N1 flu. As always, visitors should consult WakeMed’s normal policies for visiting adult units, the pediatric unit and critical care units before coming to the hospital.
In recent weeks, the majority of patients with H1N1 have been 25 to 50 years of age, not youth under the age of 18. Additionally, because of the recent reduction in H1N1 cases nationally, state-wide and locally, it is no longer necessary to restrict children from visiting patients.
However, because it is still flu season, and the possibility of another wave of H1N1 flu later this winter, WakeMed is asking all visitors and their children not to visit patients if they have an acute illness with any of the following symptoms:
- Generalized body aches
- Sore throat
- Coughing, nasal drainage and stuffy head
- Diarrhea within the past 24 hours
- Vomiting within the past 24 hours
New signage is being posted throughout the system to communicate these messages. All staff, especially nurses on the units, are being asked to carefully watch any visitor who enters a patient care area to ensure they do not appear ill. Additionally, WakeMed is encouraging all visitors under age 65 to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. Local residents can visit flu.nc.gov to find out where they can get a shot.
**Please note that, if the need arises, WakeMed may reinstate visitation restrictions to help protect our patients from the spread of illness.