PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital have initiated temporary changes in visitor policy in order to help reduce exposure by our patients and staff to influenza.
Massachusetts and New York State are currently reporting high levels of influenza and/or influenza-like illness.
Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview are requesting that visitors experiencing upper respiratory illnesses or flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting hospitalized patients. Children under 14 years of age will not be permitted to visit during these visitation changes. Visitors of patients hospitalized with influenzalike illness will be requested to wear a mask during their visit. It is anticipated that these changes will remain in effect until such time as reports of influenza or influenza-like illnesses have subsided locally.
From Sept. 1, 2013, through Jan. 20, 2014, Berkshire Medical Center has had 30 positive tests for influenza, and a total of 10 people admitted; Fairview has recorded 10 positive tests and no admitted patients.
Berkshire Health Systems reminds the community that influenza is highly contagious and poses significant health issues for those at a high risk. It is recommended that if people have not yet been vaccinated for influenza that they do so, as this can greatly reduce the incidence of influenza in our community. BHS also recommends that people use good hand hygiene at all times, and regularly wash their hands to help prevent the transmission of contagious diseases.
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