SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Scripps Health will impose temporary restrictions on visitors at its five hospitals beginning Wednesday to reduce the chance of spreading the flu.
Visitors will be screened, and those displaying symptoms of flu-like illness will be asked to leave, according to Scripps Health. Patients will be limited to a maximum of four visitors per day, and children ages 14 and younger will not be allowed in hospitals unless they are patients or have appointments.
Exceptions may be allowed by infection control and department supervisors for special circumstances, according to the hospital.
The limitations will take effect at 8 a.m. today at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla.
"With cases of H1N1 influenza rising quickly in the area, we are taking precautionary measures to limit the risk of infection in our hospitals," Scripps Chief Medical Officer Dr. James LaBelle said. "We ask that visitors follow these new guidelines so that we can maintain the safest possible environment for everyone."
As of the middle of January, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency had counted nearly 1,400 cases of influenza in the region, resulting in seven deaths. All the fatalities involved people who already had other medical conditions.
Most of the influenza cases are of the H1N1 strain, according to the HHSA.