Metro Detroit hospitals restrict visitors over flu fear

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

As local hospitals experience high volumes of patients with the flu, some hospitals in Metro Detroit are enacting visitation restrictions.

Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center locations and eight Beaumont hospitals are restricting visitation rights for children younger than 13 years old.

Younger children are particularly susceptible to catching and spreading these illnesses,  said Dr. Curt Stankovic, director of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, in a press release.

If families arrive with children younger than the age of 13, they will not be permitted to visit inpatient and observation units unless there's a severe illness of a parent or end-of-life situation.

The flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii, but the good news is the flu season appears to be peaking.

U.S. health officials on Friday said plenty of people are getting sick, and the flu has hit epidemic levels — just as it does most winters.

But an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows patient traffic for the flu is no longer increasing the way it did in December.

Health officials say it’s shaping up to be a bad season overall, dominated by a nasty type of flu bug that can cause severe illness in young children and seniors. They won’t know how well the flu shot worked until next month.

Beaumont hospitals enacted its restrictions on visitors on Friday, Children's Hospital and DMC locations have been under the restriction since Dec. 26.

DMC also requests the number of patient visits be limited to avoid exposures, especially to patients who are pregnant, seniors and people who may have chronic medical conditions.

Flu‐like symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills and fatigue.

Associated Press contributed.