Flu: Modified Visitor Policy

We are in the midst of the 2016-2017 Influenza (“flu”) season, and activity is high across the region and the United States.  Our top priority at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health is the health and safety of our patients, staff, visitors and community.  We are therefore implementing a modified visitor policy to help prevent the spread of flu.  The following modified visitor policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice:

  • No one under the age of 18, unless they are a patient or the parent of a patient, is permitted to visit inpatient units within the medical center.  Exceptions may be made for “compassionate care” visits
  • Only two (2) adult visitors allowed per patient at a time
  • Persons with outpatient or physician appointments are asked not to bring children under the age of 18 to the medical center unless the appointment is for the child
  • Visitors exhibiting flu symptoms including fever, runny nose, cough or sore throat are not permitted to visit patients in the hospital  

More About Influenza

Influenza is a viral infection of the lungs and airways that is spread from person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing.  It is also spread by direct contact with infected people or contaminated objects like door handles or computer keyboards.  We ask all visitors to utilize the alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are widely available around the medical center. 

Influenza and the common cold both have symptoms that affect the throat and nose, but influenza symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms. These symptoms include a high fever (over 100°F) stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Other symptoms of influenza include headache, tiredness, body aches, and chills.

If you think you or someone in your family has influenza, get plenty of rest at home; drink fluids like juice, water, or hot tea; and take an over-the-counter pain reliever for muscle aches and fever.

If you are wondering if you need to visit the Emergency Department, look for warning signs that require urgent medical attention before coming to the hospital: 

In children: 

  • High or prolonged fever 
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing 
  • Bluish skin color 
  • Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • Changes in mental status, such as not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; or seizures 
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough 
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes) 

In adults:

  • High or prolonged fever 
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Pain or pressure in the chest 
  • Near-fainting or fainting 
  • Confusion 
  • Severe or persistent vomiting 

Flu Resources: