St. Peter's Hospital restricts visitors to prevent flu
With the flu making its rounds in the Helena area, Saint Peter's Hospital is restricting visitors, in hopes of preventing the virus being spread to patients.
Infection Control Officer at Saint Peter's Hospital, Chad Spangler, says visitation needs to be controlled to help prevent the spread of influenza.
Spangler says, "We want to limit visitation in the hospital because we're seeing so much influenza activity in our community and in our hospitals.”
Going as far as closing their doors to some people trying to see patients.
Spangler says, "We have had to turn some people away and you know thankfully our community is being very supportive and understanding and helping for the most part. That's what we're seeing."
Spangler says this year's flu outbreak has been much worse than others. Many people are being hospitalized with the flu while several others are checked in with flu-like symptoms.
Spangler says, "It's important for people to know how serious that influenza activity is this year."
Spangler says, "We need to protect our visitors and our employees and most importantly our patients from getting sick with influenza."
He says flu symptoms can vary from year to year. This year the symptoms often seem like a severe cold.
Spangler says, "The most common symptoms right now are kind of a general achiness, fever, can be a headache and then kind of a dry cough."
The hospital asks for the most at risk people, including infants and children, not to visit the hospital at this time. Spangler says the best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to wash your hands and get vaccinated.
Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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