Flu Prompts Visitor Restrictions at Backus

Because of a high number of flu cases, the Backus Health System is putting temporary visitor restrictions in place and limiting public use of its facilities beginning Friday. This is being done to protect patients, visitors and staff.

According to a statement released on Thursday, the Backus lab reports nine positive flu tests in the past week, and 14 overall.

Several emergency department patients have also had flu-like symptoms but were not tested, according to Backus.

The restrictions are in effect for all Backus locations where there are patients and visitors and include no visitors under the age of 18. They are asking people of all ages not to visit the hospital or its offsite locations if they have flu-like symptoms, such as cough, sore throat or a fever.

“This is a very important precaution for us to take in order to keep our patients safe,” Peter Shea, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, said. “Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the flu, and we must protect them at all costs.”

The public can still obtain flu shots at the Montville and Colchester Backus Health Centers. Backus and the Uncas Health District are partnering to offer free flu shots to the public. To schedule a vaccination, call 860-823-1189, ext. 123.

Officials from Hartford Hospital said the flu season started earlier than usual, but they have not seen a jump in cases. As of last week, they had four to five cases.

The flu season usually starts around Christmas, but it started around Thanksgiving this year, officials said.   

St. Francis has had a few cases and expects to see a jump soon.

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