Dixie Regional issues advisory on visitation during flu season

Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, Utah, January 23, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – With flu season in swing and three flu-related deaths reported in Southern Utah, officials at Dixie Regional Medical Center are asking potential visitors to the hospital to stay at home if you’re not feeling well.

“It’s never a good idea to visit someone, especially a hospital patient, if you don’t feel well,” said Gay Cunningham, DRMC’s chief nursing officer. “Even if you believe your flu-like symptoms are mild, you may still spread the virus. Stay home and rest. It’s better for you, and for the health of those around you.”

For the safety of infants younger than one year old, Cunningham said, they should be kept home during flu season. She stressed that “at home” means away from public places like the hospital, church, shopping, school, movies and daycare.

Pregnant women are also especially vulnerable, and should be very careful.

Cunningham encouraged people to follow public health prevention measures by getting a flu shot, washing hands frequently, coughing or sneezing into the shoulder rather than hands, and disposing of tissues properly.

Vaccine is still offered at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department.

Officials at the SUPHD and DMRC are encouraging the public to get flu vaccinations in the wake of three flu-related deaths that occurred in the five-county region over the last two weeks. The health department reported Monday that the H1N1 flu strain responsible for the deaths.

“If you have not had the flu vaccine and you do visit the hospital, please request a mask from the reception desk and wear it throughout your visit,” Cunningham said. “People who are just coming down with the flu may be contagious a day or two before they manifest symptoms.”

Further visitation restrictions may be implemented at the hospital, if a significant increase occurs in the number of patients being hospitalized.

For more information about influenza, visit the Southwest Utah Public Health Department website: For more information about visitation at Dixie Regional, please call 435-251-2108.

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Submitted by: Dixie Regional Medical Center

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Twitter: @STGnews

Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, Utah, January 23, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, Utah, January 23, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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