February 7, 2018

Middlesex Hospital restricts visitors due to the flu

Middlesex Hospital says it's limiting who can visit patients at the hospital, citing concerns about the prevalence of the flu in Connecticut.

Effective immediately, anyone with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to visit patients at the Middletown hospital, according to an alert posted on its website Wednesday. Symptoms can include having a fever, vomiting and coughing, diarrhea, body aches and headaches.

Only immediate family members or a designated support person may visit patients, the hospital said. Patients are limited to two visitors at a time, no one under the age of 18 may visit patients without special permission, and all visitors must wash their hands.

The state Department of Public Health, in its latest flu report posted Feb. 2 for the current season, Aug. 27, 2017, through Jan. 27, 2018, said flu activity remains high and widespread with an increasing percentage of patients presenting to hospital emergency departments and outpatient providers with influenza-like-illness, as well as increasing numbers of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths.

A total of 1,154 hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza were admitted during the reporting period, DPH said. Of those, 790 were Type A (subtype unspecified), 195 were Type A (H3N2), six were Type A (2009 H1N1), and 163 were influenza B virus.

In the period, there were 52 influenza-associated deaths (41 associated with flu A, 11 with flu B). Of those deaths, 44 were among patients greater than 65 years of age, four were 50-64 years of age, three were 25-49 years of age, and one was between 5-17 years of age, DPH said. The current season total of 52 deaths is within the range of influenza-associated deaths (1-65) reported during the previous five seasons, it added.

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