February 5 2018

Lahey Restricting Visitors Under 13 Years of Age Due to Flu

By: Rich Hosford

Due to the severity of the current flu season Lahey Hospital is taking precautions to keep patients safe by restricting younger visitors.


Lahey Senior Manager of Media Relations Dan Marra said that starting on Monday the hospital has put in place a restriction on all visitors under the age of 13 to in-patient areas of the facility. He said this measure is for the protection of patients, many of whom are more susceptible to the flu and flu symptoms. Young children are more frequent carriers of the flu, he said, and could unknowingly infect a vulnerable patient.


Marra said the restriction will be in place until the hospital decides the risk is over.


“There is no specific end date at this time,” he said.


This year’s flu season has hit the country harder than many in recent years.


During a Friday, February 2 conference call, Centers of Disease Control acting Director Anne Schuchat highlight the difficulties posed by the 2017-18 flu season thus far.


“Flu is incredibly complex and difficult to predict and this season is a somber reminder of why flu is one of the world’s greatest public health challenges,” she said. “And why we at CDC focus so intensely on efforts to fight flu. In the past week, we have seen increased influenza-like illness activity, more hospitalizations, and tragically, more flu associated deaths in children and adults. And as of this week, overall hospitalizations are now the highest we’ve seen. even higher than the 2014-’15, our previous high season.”


CDC officials recommend that residents get flu shots if they have not yet already. Though the flu vaccine is not perfect it does reduce the chance of getting the flu and may reduce the severity of the symptoms and its duration if you do get it.


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