Beginning Monday, January 5, 2015 through the foreseeable future, Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) will implement visiting restrictions to protect our patients and reduce the spread of seasonal viruses in our community. Within the last several weeks, KRMC has experienced a significant increase in the number of patients diagnosed with Influenza A and B. We have also begun to see the first few cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) emerge within the past week. Visiting restrictions will remain in effect throughout all patient care areas of KRMC. This means no children under age 16 will be allowed to visit patients, including new siblings born at KRMC. Children under age 16 are restricted to designated waiting areas on the main floor of the hospital only. Additionally, anyone with flu-like symptoms is not allowed in the hospital unless they are a patient. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk for serious flu complications. RSV is also a viral disease, which causes lower respiratory tract infections in young infants and children. Symptoms for both the flu and RSV are similar and include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In addition, many people also report vomiting and/or diarrhea. Both the flu and RSV arespread mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick. However, the viruses are also spread by touching infected objects and then touching your nose or mouth. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. While most of the viruses spreading this season are different from what is in the vaccine, vaccination can still provide protection and might reduce severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death. If you have not been vaccinated yet this season, get your flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially if you are in contact with unvaccinated children or the elderly.
In addition to the flu vaccine, the following health habits can help protect you from the flu:
- Wash your hands often
- Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are ill
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.