Henry Ford Health System To Restrict Visitors Over Flu Fears

WWJ News
December 20, 2019 - 12:50 pm
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(Photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - With flu activity increasing across Michigan, Henry Ford Health System has implemented temporary visitor restrictions to protect patients, team members and visitors from the spread of illness.

Starting Friday, Dec. 20, visitors will be limited to those 12 years and older. Visitors who have flu-like symptoms are asked not to visit a hospitalized loved one, family member or friend until their symptoms improve. Similarly, patients who have flu-like symptoms and have scheduled appointments or procedures should wear a mask and maintain proper hand hygiene.

The restrictions are in place at: Henry Ford Hospital, Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

Dr. Betty Chu, Henry Ford’s associate chief clinical officer and chief quality officer, said flu activity is already at regional levels in Michigan and likely to worsen in the coming weeks.

"This is a preemptive measure we take every year to help minimize the spread of flu illness and to protect the health of our patients, families who come to visit their loved ones and our team members. A decision to lift the restrictions will be made at a later point based on flu activity," she said in a statement. 

Chu reminds the public that it's not too late to get a flu shot, which is your best defense against the flu

"We encourage anyone older than six months of age receive the flu shot," she said. "We have plenty of vaccine available across our health system for those who haven't yet receive their flu shot."

Flu-like symptoms come on suddenly and include fever, extreme tiredness, headache, muscle aches, cough and sore throat.

Antiviral medicines are available to treat the flu, and work most effective if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. It can reduce symptoms and shorten flu illness.

Everyone can limit the spread of germs by practicing these daily healthy habits:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect touched surfaces at home, work and school