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PeaceHealth to curtail number of hospital visitors

Posted: Friday, Jul 26th, 2013

EUGENE — Due to an increase in pertussis (whooping cough) in our community, PeaceHealth has issued new temporary guidelines for visitors to its hospitals and clinics because of a sudden increase in the number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases it is handling.

Florence’s PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center, and centers in the university district and Cottage Grove will be limiting the number of visitors to its facillities.

The revised guidelines are intended to protect the public, PeaceHealth caregivers and medically at-risk populations from becoming ill with pertussis.

The guidelines include:

• Any patient or visitor who arrives at the listed facilities with cold-like symptoms will be required to wear a mask.

•  They discourage visitation to the hospitals by children under the age of 1 because they are most at risk for severe complications of pertussis.

• Children 12 and under are not allowed to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sacred Heart at RiverBend.

PeaceHealth providers have diagnosed 12 confirmed pertussis cases since July 1, nine of which have been seen since July 10. Three cases were reported in an emergency department on Tuesday, July 23. All patients seen have been age 16 or younger.

Limiting the number of visitors is necessary to reduce the risk of spreading pertussis, which is highly contagious. Pertussis can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe.

For the complete article see the 07-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-27-2013 paper.

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