Sanford-Bismarck begins visitation restrictions | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Sanford-Bismarck begins visitation restrictions

Jan 7, 2020

Health officials are seeing a spike in the number of lab-certified cases of influenza around North Dakota. Due to those rising numbers officials at Sanford Health in Bismarck are putting restrictions on who should and should not visit hospital patients. Julie Jacobson is a registered nurse and manager of the infection prevention department at Sanford-Bismarck…

"They will be asked when they come in to make sure that they aren't having symptoms. And any child under the age of 12 we ask that they wear a mask while they're visitng. We will provide them a mask during that time. Sometimes little one have a harder time covering their cough if they're sick. It's that key of not coming in to visit if you are havng those symptoms of cough, fevver, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, those type of things are the signs you would look for."

Jacobson says under the restrictions visitation will be limited to a patient’s immediate family. She says the steps to help prevent the spread of flu are simple, but keeping ahead of the flu can be extremely difficult…

"Usually the day before the on-set of symptoms you can shed the influenza virus and pass it on to other people. And you can continue to pass that virus through day 5 or 7 of your illness. So during that time period it's a good time try to refrain from visiting. Stay home if you're sick. Good hand hygiene, covering your coough is really important, just to try to limit transmission to other people."

There have been 1989 confirmed cases of influenza in North Dakota so far this flu season. Burleigh County has reported more than 50 of those cases.