If you need to visit a patient at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, make sure to leave your children behind.
The hospital announced Friday that visitor restrictions have been put in place “for the immediate future” due to an increase in the number of flu and other respiratory-related illnesses in the area.
Adults experiencing flu-like symptoms — runny nose, sore throat and fever — are encouraged not to visit patients and limit hospital visits to one visit per patient. Those younger than 18 will not be allowed inside the hospital as visitors, according to a news release.
“We hope that these precautions will prevent further spread of the flu and other viruses, and better enable us to care for those patients who most need to be in the hospital at this time,” Mary Scott, director of quality and infection prevention, said in the news release.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, more than 75 cases of the flu were reported between Dec. 17 and Dec. 23 in Beaufort County. By comparison, Jasper County reported between 26 and 50, and Colleton County reported between 0 and 25.
So far this flu season, more than 8,000 cases of influenza have already been confirmed in South Carolina. At least 382 flu-related cases have resulted in hospitalizations and eight individuals have died, DHEC reports.
Most individuals can fight cold and flu-like illnesses by staying at home, drinking fluids and taking acetaminophen. However, patients experiencing signs, such as difficulty breathing, chest or abdomen pain or severe vomiting, should seek immediate care from the emergency department, according to Scott.
Last month, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System’s hospitals in Savannah also implemented similar visitor restrictions due to the widespread flu activity.