Henry Ford implements temporary visitor restrictions due to spread of flu

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 22, 2018

 Henry Ford Health System announced last week that it was implementing temporary visitor restrictions at its hospitals as a means of protecting patients, employees and visitors from the spread of the flu.

Henry Ford Health System announced last week that it was implementing temporary visitor restrictions at its hospitals as a means of protecting patients, employees and visitors from the spread of the flu.

File photo by Deb Jacques

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Jan. 17, Henry Ford Health System announced it was implementing temporary visitor restrictions at its hospitals as a means of protecting patients, employees and visitors from the spread of the flu.

Flu activity is increasing across the country. According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, the state shows only regional activity. However, that’s predicted to change.

“With flu activity expected to increase in the coming weeks, we are taking this measure for the health and safety of our patients, employees and visitors against the spread of flu illness,” said Katherine Reyes, M.D., Henry Ford’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Control. “These restrictions will be lifted at the end of flu season.”

Restrictions take effect immediately at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, and Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson.

Visitors are limited to those 12 years and older. Patients with flu-like symptoms who have scheduled appointments or procedures should wear a mask and maintain proper hygiene, while visitors with flu-like symptoms will be asked not to return until symptoms show improvement.

Symptoms of the flu include fevers, extreme fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, coughing and sore throats. Doctors recommend antiviral medicine for treatment to be taken early on — especially those patients with severe disease or those who pose higher risks for complications.

A flu shot is the best prevention technique, Reyes said.

“It’s not too late to get the flu shot,” she said. “It protects you and those around you.”

She also recommends daily health habits that can help curb the proliferation of germs: avoiding close contact with individuals with illnesses; covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing; washing hands often; and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces at home, work or school.