• Meeker Memorial Hospital and Clinic implements Visitor Restrictions at the Hospital and Urges Everyday Preventive Actions to Fight the Flu

    12/15/14 Litchfield, MN — Meeker Memorial Hospital will implement visitor restrictions today. Due to the prevalence of influenza (FLU) already this season and to further protect patients, staff and the community from its spread, it has been decided to implement Visitor Restrictions at MMH; the following are in effect until further notice:

    • It is recommended that no children visit hospital patients.
    • Birth Center: No one under 18 is allowed to visit at this time, with the exception of siblings.
    • For anyone with symptoms like scratchy throat, fever, cough, body aches, etc., a mask is required to visit patients, however it is recommended to refrain from visiting if ill .
    • All visitors must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to and after visitation.
    • There are “hygiene” kiosks with masks and hand sanitizer located in the center of the lobby and in the hall on 3rd Floor between the Inpatient and Behavioral Health inpatient units.

    These restrictions are effective immediately and are subject to change.

     Meeker Memorial Hospital and Clinic today asked the public’s help to reduce the spread of the flu and reminded people that it’s not too late to receive the flu vaccine. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of people with flu-like symptoms in the last few weeks,” says Kari Olson, Infection Control/Employee Health Coordinator at Meeker Memorial Hospital. “This includes more people coming into area clinics, more people requiring hospitalization and more students out of school.” 

    Recently the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) characterized the geographic spread of influenza as “widespread”.

    Meeker Memorial Hospital and Clinic strongly urges everyone to take steps to prevent contracting and spreading the flu. They include:

    • Try to avoid close contact with people who are ill
    • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine
    • If your children are ill, keep them at home
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, and wash your hands thoroughly
    • Wash your hands with warm water and soap, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and object that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. This includes phones, computer keyboards and personal electronic devices

    “In addition, we urge everyone to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible in order to protect yourself for the rest of the season,” says Olson. “Vaccination is especially important for caregivers, children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes and other long-term conditions who are at high risk from flu complications.” 

    Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. 

    “Getting a flu shot is one of the most effective ways each of us can avoid getting the flu and spreading the illness to others,” says Daniel Schminke, M.D., Family Medicine Physician at Meeker Memorial Clinic. “Supplies of the flu vaccine are plentiful and readily available from your local health care provider or other consumer outlets, including many pharmacies.”

    The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza (flu) viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The signs and symptoms of the seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

     Additional information and resources are available on the MDH Flu Website:

    http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/index.html

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    About Meeker Memorial Hospital and Clinic:

    Meeker Memorial Hospital (MMH) is a 35-bed, county owned, critical access hospital located in Litchfield, MN. Meeker Memorial is committed to provide high-quality health care services responsive to the residents of Meeker County and the surrounding area. MMH has private inpatient rooms, obstetrical suites and a 10-bed center for senior behavioral health.   The newly expanded facility offers a 24-hour emergency department, surgical suites and diagnostic services plus occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, cardiac rehabilitation, cancer care and specialty clinic services conveniently located in the hospital to better serve patients. Meeker Memorial Clinic in Dassel and MMH services are backed by some of the regions finest medical staff and specialists. Visit Meeker Memorial at: meekermemorial.org

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