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More Flu Cases Prompt Visitor Restrictions at Sanford - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

More Flu Cases Prompt Visitor Restrictions at Sanford

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Influenza has been wreaking havoc in North Dakota. In an effort to protect patients from being exposed to the virus, Sanford Health Fargo is imposing a visitor restriction at some of its Fargo locations until the number of cases decrease and it's safe for patients.

 Locations with visitor restrictions include:

  • Sanford Fargo Medical Center
  • Sanford South University Medical Center
  • Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center

Sanford Clinics in Fargo are not affected at this time.

"It's important, if people have flu like symptoms and have family or friends who are hospitalized, they should not visit until they have completely recovered," says Sanford Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Joan Cook.

Sanford continues to allow visitation of healthy immediate family members that are over the age of 18.  

"Cases of the flu in just Fargo alone have risen very quickly," says Cook. "We want to make sure we're protecting our patients, many of whom are more susceptible to catching viruses."

Officials at Sanford say people should know they can spread the illness without being sick. They should also not visit for one to two days after being exposed to others who are sick.

Unlike the "stomach flu," which causes nausea, vomiting and digestive distress, flu symptoms can last a week or more and include:

  • fever
  • body aches
  • headache
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • lethargy

Everyone can prevent the spread of influenza with frequent hand washing, and by following these precautions:

  • Do not share items such as cups, glasses and utensils with others.
  • Avoid people with upper respiratory infections, such as colds.
  • Newborn babies should avoid visitors for two weeks.
  • Avoid child-care centers, malls, family and sports events, movie theaters and other congested places where many people are in an enclosed area.
  • Avoid visiting children who are in the hospital.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke. If people who smoke live in your home, ask them to smoke outside and to change their clothing before being around your child.
  • Be vaccinated against influenza. It's not too late to get your shot.
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