Healthcare Systems Enhance Control Measures As Influenza Numbers Rise

Due to the high number of influenza (flu) cases in the Rock River Region, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, Mercyhealth, SwedishAmerican, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, and Crusader Community Health in cooperation with the Winnebago County Health Department, are restricting visitors to their facilities and are requiring healthcare staff wear masks if they have not been vaccinated for influenza this season.
Effective immediately, and until further notice, hospital visitors will be limited to those individuals 18 years of age and older. In addition, anyone showing flu-like symptoms should refrain from visiting patients in the hospital. All treatment services are still available to all patients.
Symptoms of flu come on suddenly and include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscles or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

While influenza typically decreases in March, this season has been unusual. The public should be aware that influenza is increasing in our community and should take steps to reduce the spread of flu including:

  • Stay home when they are not feeling well, especially if they are experiencing symptoms of flu.
  • Get a flu vaccine. It’s not too late to vaccinate against influenza.
  • Practice the 3C’s (Clean, Cover, Contain) by cleaning hands often, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.

Additional Information

  • Visit the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention influenza webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/
  • Visit the WCHD website to view the influenza report at http://www.wchd.org/

Contacts:
Emily Tropp, SwedishAmerican, a Division of UW Health, 779-696-4340 Mike Robinson, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, 815-395-5347 Sean Muserallo, Mercyhealth, 815-971-5481
Carrie Hermanson, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 815-395-5601
Roger Larrick, Crusader Community Health, 815-490-1757
Katherine O’Toole, Winnebago County Health Department, 815-720-4213