Flu scare puts SC hospitals in quarantine

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Flu scare puts SC hospitals in quarantine

Palmetto Health Flag                                                                                        Photo Credit: Unknown

Palmetto Health Flag Photo Credit: Unknown

Palmetto Health Flag Photo Credit: Unknown

Palmetto Health Flag Photo Credit: Unknown

Skye Shaw, staff writer

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Columbia’s Palmetto Health hospitals and emergency rooms have initiated visitor restrictions to prevent the spread of the flu.

Restrictions are in effect until further notice and are a response to the rise in the number of community members with cold or related flu-like symptoms.

South Carolina and the nation are currently in the worst flu outbreak in eight years, according to WLTX. Currently other hospitals in the state and in the nation have put in place similar restrictions.

In addition, the hospital system is restricting anyone under 18 from visiting. Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, Palmetto Health allows only children under 18 to visit patients in special cases or with approval from the health care team.

“These have been initiated because the flu this year is very active. It’s impacting our entire health care community, including all emergency rooms and outpatient care facilities,” Dr. Steve Shelton, emergency room physician and Palmetto Health medical director of emergency management, said in a news release.

Palmetto Health reminds the community of some simple tips to reduce the spread of influenza:

  • Clean your hands frequently. Look for hand hygiene stations and use them often. Make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving a hospital either by washing with soap or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing. You can easily spread the flu because of coughs, sneezes or simply talking.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are more susceptible to spread to areas where saliva or mucus are located.
  • It is never too late to get the influenza vaccine. Getting this simple shot can help increase the chances of your body fighting the flu.
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