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UW Health Visitor Guidelines During the Influenza Season

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A note from Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD, hospital epidemiologist, and Kelli Rogers, infection control practitioner:

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing widespread influenza activity. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health has also issued an alert that influenza activity continues to rise statewide. A total of 646 influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported for week ending January 20, 2018 in Wisconsin.

 

To protect our patients and staff, UW Health will be limiting visitor access during the influenza season. In the clinic setting, "visitor" refers to any person accompanying a patient.

 

When

 

Effective immediately for the duration of the influenza season at all UW Health patient care facilities. The hospital epidemiologist will determine the date for the end of the influenza season.

 

Where

 

All UW Health Locations including:

  • University Hospital
  • American Family Children's Hospital
  • UW Health at The American Center
  • All UW Health Clinics

Who

  • Any visitors with fever or influenza-like illness (fever, cough or sore throat) should refrain from visiting patients. 
  • Visitors and patients with cough or sore throat should put on a mask from the respiratory etiquette stations at the entrance/at check-in and perform hand hygiene.
  • For visitors who have had a fever, in most cases, may return after 24 hours without a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • If visitors were recently diagnosed with influenza or influenza-like-illness, they should refrain from visitation until 24 hours after symptom resolution. 

Help Prevent the Spread of Influenza

  • Visitors should wash their hands frequently with hand sanitizer or soap and water.
  • In addition to hand hygiene, visitors should limit surfaces touched in patient rooms, and follow appropriate isolation precautions for the patient(s) they are visiting. 

In the rare circumstances a visitor with influenza-like illness is permitted into the hospital, they will have to follow these rules:

  • Wear a mask at all times while in the hospital
  • Go directly to the patient's room
  • And leave the hospital when the visit is complete

Date Published: 01/31/2018

News tag(s):  fluamerican centerinfectious diseases

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