HAMC Encourages you to be a Good Visitor during Cold and Flu Season

Keeping you and your loved ones healthy during their stay at Heart of America Medical Center is a top priority. If you’re visiting family or friends it’s also important to be a good visitor and employ the basic principles of infection prevention especially during this cold and flu season.
According to the CDC, influenza (the flu) is a serious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses, which can cause mild to severe illnesses. Seasonal influenza activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. The flu is associated with approximately 200,000 hospital admissions, and as many as 49,000 deaths annually in the United States.
In order to prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses, HAMC has policies in place that limit visitors during the flu season. Last year visitors were limited and at times prohibited from visiting due to the number of confirmed cases in the Rugby community and state of North Dakota.

Who is vulnerable to illness?                                                                                      
Although most everyone is a healthcare patient at one point or another in their lives, some are at a higher risk of getting sick when they’re exposed to illness, including:
• People age 65 years and older
• People with HIV, hepatitis, and cancer
• Pregnant women
• People who live with, or care for a high risk individual or elderly person
• People who have chronic medical conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease
How do you prevent the spread of illness?
There are a few simple things you can do to prevent spreading viruses to others. Always follow these steps when you are visiting HAMC or any healthcare facility:
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean your hands often—especially before entering and after exiting the hospital room.
  • Use soap and water to wash your hands or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Experts agree the best way to prevent the flu and spreading illness is by getting vaccinated each year.
If you plan to visit a patient or resident at HAMC this cold and flu season, be sure the check if visitor restrictions are in place with either the Care Center, Hospital or Haaland Estates and always remember, if you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms, please wait to visit until you are well.