(Des Moines, Iowa) — In an effort to protect patients, families and health care staff, visitors to Iowa Health – Des Moines and Mercy Medical – Des Moines facilities asked community members to follow visitor limitations temporarily during the peak of the flu season.
The numbers of patients hospitalized with influenza, as well as positive outpatient tests for influenza, have decreased dramatically in the past two weeks at metro hospitals. As a result of this improvement the Des Moines area hospitals are lifting their visitor restriction policies.
Hospitals are still encouraging following guidelines be used in order to help prevent the spread of illness:
- Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizing gel frequently.
- Remember to cough and/or sneeze into your arm or shoulder or use a tissue. The spread of germs can be reduced by coughing into your clothing. Avoid covering your mouth with your hands, as the germs can easily be passed through direct contact with surfaces or people.
- If you are treated by a doctor, be sure to ask how long it will take until you no longer pose an infection risk to others.
- If you have not already received the flu vaccination, contact your local health care provider or County Health Department to make arrangements to receive the vaccine.
The Des Moines area hospitals want to thank everyone for abiding by these restrictions and your assistance during this busy flu season.