Banner Health has implemented visitor restrictions at its hospitals because of the current Enterovirus D68 outbreak.
Restrictions will likely remain in place through the flu season, roughly the end of March.
The restrictions Banner Health asks community members to abide by include the following:
Do not visit the hospital, as a visitor, if you have fever, cough, vomiting or diarrhea
No visitors under the age of 13
Siblings, who do not have cold and flu symptoms, may visit a new baby on the Obstetrics unit, but may be screened for illness by staff before being allowed to visit
Children 12 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times in pubic waiting areas and cafeterias
Please wash or sanitize your hands frequently while at the hospital
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, symptoms of Enterovirus D68 may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. As of mid-September, for example, a total of 140 people had been infected across 16 states.
Additionally, the CDC website states infants, children and teenagers have a higher risk of being infected with Enterovirus D68 because they have not built up immunity from previous exposures to these viruses. Children with asthma are at higher risk for severe illness.
To avoid becoming sick, the CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water frequently; avoiding contact with eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system manages 25 acute-care hospitals, the Banner Health Network and Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including family clinics, home care and hospice services, and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com