Flu prompts restrictions for local hospitals

March 21, 2019

The flu has led Allen County health department officials to recommend temporary visitation restrictions for area hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes.

Dr. Deborah McMahan, health commissioner, said an uptick in flu cases and an unexpected strain of the flu virus led to the decision.

The restrictions include that anyone seeking care for suspected flu wear a mask while in public areas, including waiting rooms. No one under 18 will be allowed to visit patients and no one of any age with flu symptoms will be allowed to visit.

The number of visitors also is being limited to two “essential adults” per patient : spouse or domestic partners, designated family members and spiritual counselors.

The restrictions apply to all patients, not just those being treated for flu.

The restrictions are to prevent the spread of flu and are similar to those enacted in previous years, health officials said.

The more common type of flu now being reported is H3N2, which poses more risk for those at high risk, including the very young, the elderly and those with chronic health problems, including heart disease and asthma, health officials said.

Flu symptoms include muscle aches, fever and coughing and sneezing.