Catawba Valley Medical Center will join other area hospitals in restricting
visitors under the age of 18 beginning Monday, October 5, 2009. The medical
center is taking this action because the H1N1 flu is now reported as widespread
in North Carolina and the incidence of flu illness in children and young
adults is growing.
“After consulting with the Catawba County Public Health Department,
we are taking this action as a precautionary measure to help protect our
patients and their family members,” says President & CEO J.
Anthony Rose. “We feel it is important to take this step to help
prevent the spread of H1N1 flu,” reports Rose.
“Rather than limit all visitors, we are asking that children and
teens refrain from visiting our facilities unless they have an appointment,
a procedure scheduled, or an emergency,” he says. “Our physicians
report that children and adolescents are more susceptible to the H1N1
flu strain and often are contagious before they exhibit symptoms which
is why they may more quickly spread the virus to others.”
“We are also urging anyone with flu-like symptoms such as cough,
sore throat, or fever to choose another time to visit.” says Rose.
“By being cautious now, we all can help limit the spread of both
the H1N1 and seasonal flu viruses.”
Physicians recommend that everyone get the seasonal flu shot now. The vaccine
is now available in area physicians’ offices and through the Catawba
County Public Health Department. We have just begun vaccinating our staff
within the past few days. State Public Health officials will soon begin
distributing the new H1N1 vaccine to high risk groups. The public is encouraged
to check the Catawba County Public Health, Catawba Valley Medical Center,
and the Centers for Disease Control websites for more information and
the status of the flu in our region.