University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Combating Flu Cases Head-On

For Immediate Release January 29, 2018

Contact:

Martha Mallonee:

In the midst of the 2017-18 flu season, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) continues its focus on the health and safety of its patients, staff, visitors and community. Our hospitals have implemented a limited visitor policy to help prevent the spread of flu.

This includes:

  • Visits are not permitted by anyone with flu symptoms including fever, cough or sore throat.
  • No visitors under the age of 18, unless they are a patient or the parent of a patient
  • Patients on droplet isolation (symptoms are sneezing, coughing) are limited to one designated visitor in order to avoid being exposed to new germs.  Please call ahead to see if you are on the list.
  • All other patients are allowed only two adult visitors at a time.
  • Those with physician appointments are asked not to bring children unless the appointment is for the child.
  • All community support groups or events usually hosted at either UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air or Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace have been postponed until further notice.

“University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health takes flu season very seriously," said Leonardo Girio-Herrera, D.O., UM UCH director of infection prevention.  “We mandate all our team members to have adequate flu vaccination.  Without it, team members are not allowed to provide care for patients.  This year, we made the decision to provide a seven-day course of antiviral medication that helps shorten the duration of the flu for those highly vulnerable patients.  The heightened public awareness and limited visitation are just two additional strategies for us to keep everyone safe this flu season.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported Maryland a “high activity” state.  Nearly three out of 10 people tested have the flu.  We need to be more careful; therefore, strict visitation limits for the safety of patients and the public are in place.

"Limiting visitation and community events at the hospital is preventing the spread of the flu for those with weakened immune systems. Not only do we support the hospital in this decision, we also continue to work together to focus our efforts on the health and safety of Harford County residents. It's imperative to remember how quickly and easily the flu spreads and take proper precautions to avoid getting sick," said Russell W. Moy, M.D., Harford County health officer.

If you think you or someone in your family has the flu, get plenty of rest at home; drink fluids like juice, water, or hot tea; and take an over-the-counter pain reliever for muscle aches and fever.  If you think you need to see a physician, reach out to your family doctor first.  If you do not have a family doctor, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health partners with three conveniently located Choice One Urgent Care Centers in Fallston, Aberdeen and Forest Hill.  Visit http://choiceoneuc.com/ for more info.

The flu, also known as influenza, is a virus easily passed person to person without proper precautions.  The flu can lead to serious medical problems when contracted by children, the elderly and individuals with multiple conditions or a weak immune system.

When do you visit the Emergency Department?  Look for these warning signs:

In children:

High or prolonged fever

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • Changes in mental status, such as not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; or seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes)

In adults:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Near-fainting or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

    For more information and updates on the flu, please visit umuch.org/flu.

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