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Rise in flu cases prompts Pardee to restrict visits

A flu outbreak has prompted Pardee Hospital to impose restrictions on visits to patients.

The hospital has asked people not to visit patients in the hospital unless they are next of kin or their closest contact. Visitors are also asked not to bring teenagers and children. As always, visitors are urged to wash or sanitize their hands before and after visiting patients and entering or leaving the hospital. Hand sanitizing dispensers are available throughout the building.

Under its Visitor Restriction Policy, Pardee will begin limiting visitors when the NC activity rate reaches 2% of visits to providers with influenza-like illness. As of Thursday, Pardee had seen close to two dozen confirmed cases of influenza. These numbers are high for this time of year, Pardee said in a news release issued by infection preventionist Hope Lindsey.

The policy also says that when NC statewide levels reach 6% the hospital will limit visitation to immediate family only with no children less than 12 years of age. The flu rate has not yet to the point of mandating visitation by immediate family only and no children 12 or under.

"We will continue to keep you informed. In the meantime, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay at home if you are sick. Most important, continue to maintain strict hand hygiene," Lindsey said in the news release..

"The Health of our patients and the community are the highest concern of Pardee Hospital. Our policies and actions are designed to protect those at greatest risk during the flu season." said Robert T. Kiskaddon, MD, FACEP Chief Medical Officer VP Medical Affairs.

CDC can't predict how severe the upcoming flu season will be. However, the agency recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza each year. More than 112 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine already have been distributed by vaccine manufacturers in the United States this season and more is expected.

Flu vaccines are available at:

· Pardee Urgent Care
212-A Thompson Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
- You may call 697-3232 for an appointment or we also accept walk-in's
- Cost: $28
- As a courtesy, we are happy to file your insurance

· The Henderson County Health Department
1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792
- By appointment to individuals 6 months of age and older
- Appointments can be made Monday – Thursday from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. by calling the Public Health Hotline at 694-4040. Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
- There is no cost for the vaccine, but children with Medicaid are asked to bring their cards
- Vaccine will be available through December 13 or until supplies are exhausted