Mercy Health — Springfield won’t implement visitor restrictions as a way to stop spread of flu

Mercy Health - Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Mercy Health - Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Mercy Health — Springfield will not implement visitor restrictions as a way to minimize the spread of respiratory infections.

According to a statement from the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, of which Mercy Health is a member, several short-term care hospitals in the Dayton area will implement visitor restrictions.

The restrictions are being implemented as a way to minimize the spread of respiratory infections to patients, employees and the community, the statement said.

“We are not limiting visitors at this time,” said Mercy Health spokesperson Nanette Bentley.

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Bentley said the hospital will instead continue to seek recommendations for infection prevention from their own doctors as well as the CDC.

According to GDAHA’s statement, the visitor restrictions are due to a spike in flu-related hospitalizations in the region.

As of Dec. 13, nine flu-related hospitalizations have been reported in Clark County, according to data from the Clark County Combined Health District.

The nine cases put the county slightly above the 5-year average for flu-hospitalization, said CCCHD spokesperson Emma Smales.

More on the flu in Clark County: Clark County 'slightly above average' in flu-related hospitalizations this year, health district says

“But we are still not seeing any drastic increase in the number,” Smales said.

The flu is a common viral infection that can easily spread from person to person. Typically, a healthy person can fight off the flu with rest, but it can be dangerous for young children, the elderly, or those in the hospital with a lowered immune system.

“The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year,” Smales said. “But good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.”

Some of those health habits include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth — as germs are usually spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

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