Sierra View Medical Center will begin implementing Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Influenza (Flu) restrictions today to prevent the spread of these viruses to those who are more susceptible.

RSV is a common virus that causes cold symptoms in adults and children. Although most healthy adults and children may experience nothing more than an infection resembling a common cold, infants and children with pre-existing medical conditions can experience severe and potentially life-threatening complications from RSV.

Visitors under the age of 13 will be restricted from any of SVMC’s acute care units, as well as from the Distinct Part/Skilled Nursing Facility, for their own protection and that of others. This restriction will be in effect until the conclusion of the RSV/Influenza season which is dependent on the number of cases seen in the area.

Since the beginning of flu season, the hospital has seen a few RSV cases and several cases of Influenza with some adult admissions. The majority of the flu cases to date have involved pediatric patients. As a result, visitor restrictions are in effect to help prevent more serious cases of these viruses from spreading in the area. Children who require hospitalization will receive appropriate care. SVMC is a family-centered hospital, and as such, urges visitors to comply with this restriction until further notice for the safety of child visitors and the well-being of patients, other visitors and community members alike.

RSV and Influenza are spread through contact and droplets when people cough, much like the common cold. Keeping children away from contaminated areas is crucial. In addition, adults who feel ill (experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms) also should restrict their visits to protect our patients. An infected person can spread the virus through the air by sneezing or coughing. Some viruses can survive for several hours on a variety of surfaces. 

The most effective way to prevent transmission of microorganisms is through continual and thorough handwashing. Always wash hands with soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before coming into contact with others. 

Remember to routinely clean household surfaces to keep them as germ-free as possible. If possible, try to avoid crowded places like malls and movie theaters, where viruses can quickly spread from person to person. If you experience cold-like symptoms, always use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, immediately dispose of it properly, then wash your hands thoroughly to prevent spreading the virus. Finally, remember to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest to help keep your immune system at full strength this season.

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