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Community Health Alert: Severe Flu Season Precautions

This season, influenza infections are widespread and continuing to rise. At Washington Regional, confirmed cases in January alone have outpaced the number of cases during the previous two flu seasons. As a precaution, area residents who have flu-like symptoms are urged to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.

“Sick visitors are a health risk to hospitalized patients and hospital staff,” says James “Buddy” Newton, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Washington Regional. “You should not come to the hospital as a visitor if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms. Visitors may be asked to wear a mask if there is a concern that they be infected with influenza.” According to Dr. Newton, those symptoms include:

• Fever
• Sore throat
• Cough
• Chills
• Body aches
• Headache
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Known exposure to flu