FORT MADISON – Fort Madison Community Hospital is closely monitoring the progression of influenza in the community. The Iowa Department of Public Health has declared the influenza virus as widespread for Southeast Iowa. Therefore, the decision has been made to implement visitation restrictions in the FMCH Birthplace and postpartum suites.
Birthplace visitors are limited to Coach or significant other, immediate grandparents who do not display any flu like symptoms, and siblings that are 72 hours symptom free, to include: no fever, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, or persistent runny nose
This restriction will last until the time that the threat of increased exposure has passed.
The staff of the Birthplace understands having a new baby is an enjoyable and rewarding time that everyone wants to share in but the safety and health of both the mother and infant are our top priorities. FMCH team members are following the CDC’s guidelines, as well as the FMCH infection control procedures to help protect our patients, employees and hospital visitors.
In addition, we ask that all visitors to FMCH help us limit the spread of the influenza virus by adhering to the following recommendation:
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of the flu including: fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, body aches, runny or stuffy nose we ask that you refrain from visiting both inpatient and outpatient surgery areas of the hospital.
People who have influenza can be contagious beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
Most importantly, the hospital is working to educate the community about ways to prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses. These measures can help prevent spreading the illness:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water; if soap and water are not available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then sanitize your hands; or cough and sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is not available.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs spread this way.
If you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school and limit close contact with others to help prevent the spread of flu.
If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
And remember it is NOT too late to get a flu shot!
Fort Madison Community Hospital is concerned about the health of the community and want to do their part to protect everyone from the spread of flu viruses during this time of heightened awareness.