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WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 19, 2009, 09:19 AM

MeritCare's Fargo hospitals restrict visitors

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A number of hospitals in the region are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the flu. At MeritCare, there are new rules for those wanting to visit patients. The reason MeritCare has added these new restrictions is because they are seeing a record number of people coming here to the urgent care and hospital.

By: Stephanie Goetz, Associated Press

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A number of hospitals in the region are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the flu. At MeritCare, there are new rules for those wanting to visit patients.

The reason MeritCare has added these new restrictions is because they are seeing a record number of people coming here to the urgent care and hospital. They have signs in the lobby saying only immediate family, spouses, or significant others and clergy without flu-like symptoms can visit.

Those are also told to stay away, unless they need to see a doctor, are pregnant women, and children under the age of two. No children under 18 are allowed to visit family.

"You can be spreading influenza one day prior to the onset so we have to restrict really looking at more these closer populations."

MeritCare officials say once there are fewer numbers of people with the flu in the region, they will look at lifting the restriction. In the northern end of the valley, there is a unique way to prevent the spread of the flu. Altru opened a clinic just for healthy people with flu-like symptoms. 70-people used the clinic today. They're asking high-risk people to see their primary healthcare provider.

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