Flu prompts restrictions at Mercy Health facilities in Youngstown, Warren

Due to the increase in the number of influenza cases in the area, Mercy Health (Formerly Humility of Mary Health Partners) is implementing four basic public health guidelines at all facilities to protect patients, residents, their families and caregivers.

• If you do not feel well, do not come to the hospital to visit someone. Call them or send a card. You run the risk of infecting your friend or family member, or hospital staff or other patients when you visit while sick.

• No visitors under 14 years of age will be permitted until the flu season subsides.Children are exposed to many more germs in schools and day care and can easily infect others, or catch the flu by visiting someone in the hospital with the flu.

• The hospital system is suspending its practice of allowing one family member to stay overnight in the room with a patient until flu season subsides.Exceptions may be granted in cases of gravely ill or minor patients.

• Waiting rooms cannot be used for overnight accommodations. The hospital system needs time to clean and disinfect waiting rooms each evening, and enable your family member to get the rest they need to recuperate.

These extra precautions are effective immediately at all Mercy Health Youngstown locations, including St. Elizabeth Youngstown, St. Elizabeth Boardman and St. Joseph Warren hospitals and long-term care campuses. They will remain in effect until the influenza subsides.

“At this time, we are taking proactive steps to protect our patients,” said Nick Kreatsoulas, DO, Chief Medical Officer, Mercy Health. “We want to limit those at risk from being exposed and reduce exposure to the flu.”

There are some very simple habits you can practice to protect yourself and those around you, and to hamper the spread of a viral infection:

Implement frequent hand-washing with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or cough/sneeze into a sleeve; avoid crowded areas, if possible; and stay home from work, if you are sick.

For more information on influenza, including vaccine availability, prevention, treatment, myths and the latest news, visit Mercy.com/youngstown and click on the website’s flu icon on the left side of the page.

© 2015 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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