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Pa. hospitals ask that children not visit

October 26, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Chambersburg Hospital, Waynesboro Hospital and Fulton County (Pa.) Medical Center are asking that children not visit because of the flu virus.

"This is just a temporary change until this situation passes. We need to limit our patients' exposure to visitors under 18 because of the likelihood that students have interacted with sick classmates and are carrying the flu virus," said Dr. Thomas Anderson, vice president of medical affairs for Summit Health, the parent organization of Chambersburg and Waynesboro hospitals.

"This is not only a safety precaution for our residents, employees and patients, but also for the children, young adults and expectant mothers who have a much greater vulnerability to H1N1" virus, Fulton County Medical Center Infection Control Nurse Lori Best said.

Best said that special consideration will be given if children have a severely ill relative. Otherwise, the restriction applies to long-term care, acute care patient rooms, main lobby and waiting areas.

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Summit Health said children would need permission from the patient's doctor to visit.

The number of people visiting emergency rooms is on the rise, which makes hospital officials concerned about increased risk of spreading the flu.

For most people who have the flu or flu-like symptoms, the best remedy is to stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids, according to Anderson.

Hospital officials asked that adults visit only if they do not have any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or body aches.

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