US hospitals tighten visitor rules to prevent flu spread

Daughter visiting mother in hospital

In a number of hospitals in Detroit in the US, visitor restrictions are being put in place to protect patients from influenza

With this year’s flu season on track to be one of the worst in decades, these measures are designed to prevent patients from catching influenza. At Ascension Michigan, people visiting patients must be aged 14 or over and healthy and no more than two visitors at once will be permitted, while Beaumont Health visitors must be aged 13 or above and visiting for extraordinary circumstances, such as severe illness of parent or family. These measures came into effect as of 6 January.

The limitations have been implemented as a precautionary measure in accordance with national and state-wide flu trends. Dr Teena Chopra, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology at DMC Harper University Hospital, said that high-risk patients, which includes those who are pregnant, have children, or are older, should get the flu vaccination. “The best way to prevent the flu is to get your vaccine, and that is the mantra we follow here at DMC ─ we have a mandatory flu vaccination policy for our employees and we’ve had it for so many years because we want to protect our employees and our patients and that is our high priority,” she stated.