Swine flu update

We are carefully monitoring the swine flu situation as it unfolds.

Currently there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in our hospitals or anywhere else in the state. However, experts predict that there may be some confirmed cases in Wisconsin in the near future. With that in mind, measures are in place to continue to provide the best and safest care for our patients and families while protecting our staff as well.

Effective immediately, we are screening all visitors who wish to enter Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Those who report having two or more flu symptoms will not be allowed to enter. The same restrictions apply to staff. Flu symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever greater than 100° F.

All parents and guardians – regardless of symptoms – may visit their child in the hospital but they will be expected to wear masks if they are indeed experiencing respiratory symptoms.

Our regional hospitals in the Fox Valley and Kenosha also are taking precautionary steps to protect their patients and staff as appropriate.

As always, the best defense against influenza is common sense and practicing hand hygiene. Clean your hands thoroughly and frequently and be sure to use good respiratory precautions. Always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, and keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone with flu symptoms. If you’re ill, stay home. And if your children display flu symptoms, keep them home from school and away from other children.

For more information on swine flu identification, treatment and prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control, pandemic.wisconsin.gov, or your local health department’s Web site.

–Michael Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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