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Harford's two hospitals limiting visitors in effort to prevent spread of flu

Harford's two hospitals limiting visitors in effort to prevent spread of flu
To help limit the spread of flu this winter, Upper Chesapeake Health has placed visitor restrictions at its two Harford County hospitals, including Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. (David Anderson/The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

To help limit the spread of flu this winter, Upper Chesapeake Health has placed visitor restrictions at its two Harford County hospitals.

The restrictions at Harford’s two hospitals — Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace — include no visitors younger than 18 to inpatient units, unless they are parents of hospitalized children; and a limit of two visitors per patient.

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Children and teenagers are among the groups who may spread the flu virus before they’ve begun exhibiting symptoms, according to a University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health news release.

Visitors with flu symptoms, including fever, cough or sore throat, are not permitted at the hospitals.

Upper Chesapeake Health officials said exceptions to those restrictions could be made for compassionate care reasons and would be determined by unit leaders.

According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so far during the 2018-19 season about 6 million to 7 million people across the country have been sick with flu; up to half of those people have sought medical care for their illness and 69,000 to 84,000 people have been hospitalized from flu.

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