Local News

Hospitals Lifts Visitor Restrictions as Flu Cases Drop

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Effective immediately, Allen County hospitals are lifting visitor restrictions put in place last month to guard against the flu.

For the safety of patients and staff over the last four weeks, local hospitals have been operating under some temporary visitation restrictions recommended by the Allen County Department of Health. However, as a result of the flu cases being on the decline and now at a typical level for this time of year, the restrictions are no longer necessary.


We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while these temporary restrictions were in place,” says Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner. “While it was a sacrifice for both patients and hospital staff, we believe these efforts helped to reduce transmission of respiratory illnesses during a period of heightened flu activity.”


While the visitor restrictions have ended, it doesn’t mean residents should drop their guard against the flu. Therefore, doctors recommend that you continue to take the following precautions:


·         Get vaccinated. All residents 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against influenza, pneumonia (if recommended) and pertussis (if recommended) unless there are known allergies to these vaccines. Despite the vaccine not being a good match with the predominant circulating flu strain, health officials continue to advise residents to get vaccinated against the flu, as it offers protection against other circulating strains and is expected to reduce the severity of illness.

·         Stay home if you are sick. All residents experiencing fever and muscle aches should stay from school, work, shopping or other social gatherings until they have no fever for 24 hours without the benefit of fever reducing medications.

·         Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water whenever possible; if not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands.

·         Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

·         Wear a mask if needed. Patients with cough or fever seeking treatment at a healthcare facility should ask for a mask to wear. Health officials and hospital infection control specialists continue to monitor flu activity in the community.

So far in the 2014-15 season, eight people in Allen County have died from flu and its complication

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