DWM: No child visitors for now

Published 1:19 am Saturday, August 29, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital has temporarily altered its patient visitation policy to help protect patients from the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.
The new, temporary policy limits visitors to those who are over the age of 12. Also, anyone who is ill is strongly discouraged from visiting loved ones who are hospitalized.
The hospital will also temporarily close two exterior entrances: the entrance by the intensive car unit and the entrance near the education center at the rear of the hospital.
The main lobby and outpatient lobby entrance will remain open.
Hospital Director of Performance Development Debbie Gist said the temporary policy would help protect the best interest of the patients.
Brewton area physicians said this week that they have seen several cases of the H1N1 virus, but most have been mild cases and most have occurred in school children.
Doctors now are giving flu tests but not sending those tests to a state lab to be tested specifically for swine flu.
Brewton City Schools officials have said some children who are out sick have been diagnosed with the flu, but only about 10 percent of absentees have flu-like symptoms.
Escambia County Schools have not reported any cases of H1N1.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health encourage anyone who is sick to stay home from work or school and limit contact with others. To help stop the spread of the disease, people are also urged to wash their hands and use alcohol-based sanitizer.
The state health department is planning mass vaccinations of children through the school system. Those vaccinations will be voluntary and are likely to be available by late October or early November.