Local News

Child visitors not allowed at Duke, UNC, Cape Fear Valley hospitals during flu season

Posted January 8, 2018 7:12 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 11:20 a.m. EDT

Duke Hospital, Duke University Hospital

— Effective at noon on Monday, children will not be allowed to visit patients at Duke University Hospital.

"Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, our staff will only allow children under 18 to visit patients in special cases -- or with prior approval from the patient’s healthcare team," the hospital said in a press release.

That rule is one of several that is meant to prevent the spread of flu within the hospital.

Other policies that will begin at noon include:

  • Limit visitors to two adults per patient at any one time.
  • Clean your hands frequently.
  • Do not visit the hospital if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or sore throat)
  • Get the flu vaccine if you haven't done so already.

Beginning Jan. 9, children under the age of 12 will be barred from visiting hospitals withing the Cape Fear Valley Health system, including Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Hoke Hospital, Bladen County Hospital, Betsy Johnson Hospital and Central Harnett Hospital.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center's emergency department will also limit child visitors.

Other area hospitals, including UNC, have adopted similar measures.

Seven people died of the flu in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths statewide to 20 since the beginning of October, public health officials said Thursday.

The CDC said up to half of all children who die as a result of the flu have no known medical condition that put them at higher risk for complications of the illness.