Utah hospitals restricting visitors for cold and flu season

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UTAH COUNTY, Utah – As we enter the flu and cold season, hospitals across the state are urging people with colds or other minor illnesses not to come into the hospital if they’re just visiting a patient.

With the recent outbreak of possible cases of Enterovirus here in Utah, hospitals like Utah Valley Regional Medical Center are restricting access to their youngest patients.

Hospital administrators say they’re seeing an unusually high number of children who are being treated for serious respiratory illnesses.

Not just in Utah County but all Intermountain Healthcare Hospitals, specifically along the Wasatch Front.

They can’t say for sure if the patients are suffering from EV-D68 but they are trying to prevent the spread of viruses.

Friday, officials put restrictions in place for people visiting the newborn intensive care, pediatric and maternity units.

“It you’re a mom who is delivering and you have younger children at home, you’re welcome to bring those children to the hospital as long as they stay in the room with you,” Janet Frank said, Intermountain Healthcare spokesperson. “If you have a child who’s on our pediatric unit and you have children older than 14, they’re welcome to come and visit. But if you have children younger than 14, we ask that they not come and visit.”

The highly contagious virus starts off like a cold and gets worse with flu-like symptoms and other respiratory problems.

Doctors say it lasts about a week.

No vaccine is available at this time.

Hospital administrators said they will continue monitoring the number of children admitted for these symptoms.

Restrictions will be in place for at least six weeks.