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East Georgia Regional Medical Center limits visitors

Like other hospitals in the region, East Georgia Regional Medical Center is experiencing an increase in flu-related emergency-room visits.

Those especially vulnerable to experiencing the flu and serious complications are young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and individuals with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease. The hospital advises that everyone 6 months or older get immunized annually.

"East Georgia Regional Medical Center is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for patients," the hospital said in a news release issued Friday. "We follow established industry guidelines to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as the flu. All employees are encouraged to get the vaccine to protect our patients, especially those with a high risk of experiencing complications."

The following visitor restrictions have been implemented:

• Those under the age of 18 should not visit patients in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Care Unit, Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, Nursery and Pediatric departments unless they are the primary caretaker. Special arrangements can be made with the nurse for siblings to visit.
• Only children seeking medical treatment should come to the hospital.
• Patients can only receive two visitors at a time.
• The hospital recommends that if you feel sick or have flu-like symptoms, do not visit patients in the hospital.
• If you are coming to the hospital or emergency department as a patient, bring only one support person with you.
• If visiting a patient in the hospital, wash hands prior to contact and immediately after contact with the patient.

In addition to receiving the flu vaccine, these good health habits can help protect you from the flu:

• Frequently wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Resist touching eyes, nose or mouth where germs are easily spread.
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Cover nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Don't forget to throw the tissue in the trash after use and perform good hand hygiene.


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