I happened to enter my hospital through the main entrance for the first time in weeks and walked straight into several signs warning everyone about extra precautions due to swine flu. Signs remarkably like this one.
Reading, don't visit if you have fevers, aches, chills, cough etc. Further, as staff of the hospital we have gotten multiple emails saying that if you have any of the above symptoms, you are to go to employee health and get swabbed to see if you have swine flu before you can work. The staying away from work if you have a cough, cold, chills etc., I get. The idea that we are to get screened and if it isn't swine flu you can work. That I don't get. But alas, baby steps right. baby steps.
I have made it clear that I find all of this swine flu hysteria a litte rediculous, but there may be some good messages coming out of it. I work at a Children's Hospital taking care of critically ill babies. Viruses that cause the common cold in adults and healthy, older children can be deadly to my patients. It seems like almost every year, we have some parent visit their child with a runny nose and wind up spreading their virus to their child and others. These same viruses that can cause severe respiratory issues and can be deadly to former preterm babies, babies with congenital heart disease, etc. and not even to mention all of the patients in this hospital getting chemotherapy. There are a hundred reasons to screen visitors before allowing them to come into the hospital and if swine flu is what has finally gotten this done. I'm OK with that. I just hope that people will continue to be vigilant when this hysteria has passed and realize how much broader the threat is to medically fragile babies and children.
Please think about these things before visiting the medically fragile, whether in the hospital or not. Thanks