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Centegra hospitals implement influenza visitor restrictions

Centegra Hospital-Huntley, Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Centegra Hospital-Woodstock will implement an influenza visitor restriction policy Tuesday, Feb. 7 to protect patients and visitors from influenza and flu-related illnesses. Hospital visiting hours will continue to be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

“We continue to see a rise in the number of patients who have influenza Types A and B,” said Dr. Irfan Hafiz, senior vice president, chief medical officer and chief medical information officer for Centegra Health System. “While it seems late in the flu season, we still encourage people to get vaccinated. By getting vaccinated, you help those who cannot help themselves by reducing the spread of influenza in the community.”

Effective Tuesday, the policy:

  • Restricts people from visiting hospital patients if they feel sick or have a runny nose, sore throat or fever
  • Requests that people with colds wear masks if they are coughing or sneezing
  • Limits visitors to two per patient at a time on all units
  • Restricts visitors who are under the age of 12 on any unit except the Emergency Department
  • Encourages all visitors to:
    • Cover their noses and mouths when they cough or sneeze
    • Throw tissues in the trash after they are used
    • Wash their hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
    • Avoid touching eyes, noses or mouths to prevent the spread of germs

Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. People who are at the highest risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease
  • People who are already under a doctor’s care for serious illness
  • Adults 65 and older

Centegra encourages anyone six months and older to get an influenza vaccination. In the greater McHenry County area, the predominant strain of influenza is believed to be Type A H3.

“The important thing to remember is that the vaccine prevents the spread of flu and it also lessens its symptoms if you get the virus,” Hafiz said. “People who are vaccinated are more likely to recover quickly and less likely to die from other illnesses that can happen as a result of the flu.”

Centegra Hospital-Huntley, Centegra Hospital-McHenry, Centegra Hospital-Woodstock, Centegra Physician Care and Centegra Immediate Care Centers continue to offer seasonal flu vaccines. Locations are in Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Huntley, McHenry, Spring Grove and Woodstock. For more information, call 815-338-6600.