Hospitals limiting visitors under 18 to protect patients from H1N1

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Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:

Hospitals limiting visitors under 18 to protect patients from H1N1

For the protection of its patients, hospitals in Allen County will be putting temporary restrictions on visitors in order to minimize the spread of H1N1 influenza.

Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health will not allow children or young people under the age 18 to visit patients in its facilities. Only adult visitors at least 18 years of age will be allowed to visit patients. Visitors will be limited to two adults per patient. Visitors are also asked not to bring anyone under the age of 18 into hospital waiting rooms unless the person is there for treatment.

Exceptions to the temporary restrictions of visitors may be granted for patients who are experiencing life threatening health issues.

The new visitor policy will take effect Friday, Oct. 16.

Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan recommended that the hospitals adopt the stricter policy as a result of increased H1N1 activity in the community.

“Children and young adults are particularly vulnerable to this new flu, and we know from seasonal flu that children are often the source of influenza outbreaks,” McMahan says.

“By limiting child visitors, we are attempting to protect vulnerable patients from exposure to H1N1 and thereby complicating their hospital stay.”

For more information, go to or call 2-1-1.

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