WARMC issues visitor restrictions to curtail flu outbreak
BULLHEAD CITY — In hopes of curtailing a recent influenza outbreak in the Tri-state, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City is enacting visitor restrictions at the hospital.
During the current widespread influenza season, WARMC is requesting that children under the age of 17 refrain from visiting the hospital. Adults who have a fever or other signs or symptoms of the flu also are asked not to visit patients.
According to Linda Russell, WARMC’s director of infection prevention, the flu can be spread as soon as a day before a person becomes ill. Hospital staff ask visitors to monitor themselves and other family members and stay home if they are ill.
Similar restrictions were enacted at Valley View Medical Center in Fort Mohave last month.
“Beyond feeling miserable, flu can develop into something much more serious, particularly for individuals who are at higher risk,” said Angie Lipinski, nurse practitioner at Fort Mohave Walk-In Clinic. “It’s important for these individuals to be monitored closely so they receive timely medical help if needed.”
At-risk individuals include babies, children, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and individuals with lung disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone suspecting they have the flu seek care from a doctor or urgent care clinic.
“Flu can become deadly, so it’s important to act promptly if these symptoms appear,” Lipinski said. “And it’s still not too late to get a flu shot this year, which can lessen your chances of getting sick.”