Flu Season Restricts Visitor Access at Hospital

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AKRON, Ohio -- Akron Children's Hospital is making sure its patients stay safe this flu season: it's restricting visitor access.

Flu season started back in December and usually lasts through March or April. So, until it ends, anyone who is sick is asked to stay at home.

"Right now, it's a matter of recognizing flu season is with us. Flu season is also a reminder that there are other viral infections that accompany it each year, and these all pose risks to patients," said Dr. John Bower from the Infectious Disease Department at Akron Children's Hospital.

He said they're taking all kinds of precautions. For example, employees have to get the flu shot, and hand washing is highly recommended.

As for visitors, only two people plus the parents should be in a room. Those guidelines, however, do vary in some ways.

"When we have more activity, then we have an increased risk of people, unbeknownst to themselves, bringing it into the hospital and exposing patients," he said.

Children are also asked to stay at home unless they're the ones getting treatment.

These policies aren't exactly new -- just heightened during flu season.

"I don't even allow anyone to touch her, unless they've washed their hands thoroughly," said Desmon Watkins who was in the emergency room with his wife and one-year-old daughter Thursday.

He said he's happy the hospital is making sure everyone is protected.

"I support it big time. I support it a lot because you know that's like going to the daycare...it's threatening, it's threatening big time," he said.

Bower suggests everyone get vaccinated. If you've already had the flu this year, he said you're still OK to get the shot.

To learn more about flu season, click here.