by Rocky Brooks
UNC Hospitals has experienced an increase in the number of cases of viral influenza among our patients. Until further notice, children ages 11 and younger are prohibited from visiting inpatient areas and inpatient waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals.
Why are children under 12 unable to come to the hospital during certain times of the year?
• Children 11 years old and younger cannot visit when the Flu Alert visitor restrictions are in place because children get sick more often than adults and when children get sick their bodies do not fight off infection as fast as adults. Children with respiratory viruses can spread their illness to others for up to two days before they have any symptoms of being sick. Almost half of children with viral respiratory infections do not have any symptoms, but can still spread the illness.
We understand that visitor restrictions present challenges for families and can be difficult for children who have a loved one in the hospital. However, it is important for the safety of all UNC Hospitals patients that children 11 years old or younger not visit inpatient areas and inpatient waiting rooms during these periods. Encourage children who wish to visit to write letters or make phone calls instead.