Sonora, CA – Sonora Regional Medical Center (SRMC) has taken precautions to protect mothers and newborns from the flu.
“A fever for an infant under one month of age is considered an emergency,” explains Tim Sullivan, MD, a pediatrician with Foothill Pediatrics. “Newborns can get very sick when exposed to the flu virus or other pathogens. When a newborn has a fever, it could be due to a minor viral illness or it could be due to something dangerous like Group B Strep infection.”
Hospital officials say that because of the rising number of confirmed flu cases in Tuolumne County, the Birth Center has adopted the following rules:
- Laboring mothers will be allowed two banded visitors during their entire stay. (This includes the patient’s significant other)
- Banded visitors cannot be swapped with other visitors.
- Visitors under the age of 12 will not be allowed. This includes siblings.
- There will be no open visiting hours during this flu season.
SRMC’s Spokesperson Gail Witzlsteiner says the restrictions are welcomed. She says, “Most families are thankful that we’re instituting these precautions so that they know that their loved ones are more protected.”
Hospital officials say they will consider lifting the new visiting policy once the number of flu cases in the county and state begins to drop and the epidemic is declared over.
As reported earlier, the California Department of Public Health announced that 147 people have died, including four infants deaths. In Tuolumne County, the number of confirmed cases is five.