ASHEVILLE – The latest influenza-like illness (ILI) report from the state health department shows a decrease in flu-like illnesses in our region. As a result, Infection Prevention, in consultation with Mission Health’s Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Public Health Epidemiologist, has decided to stop the visitor restriction policy and implement the visitor limitation policy.

In a press release, Mission Health asks patients’ family and friends to limit their hospital visits and visitors younger than 12 and those who do not feel well to call patients rather than visit them in the hospital. You can call (828) 213-1111 and be directed to the patient.

This precaution is being activated at Mission Hospital and Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in the western North Carolina region. This includes CarePartners in Asheville, McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.

Mission Health urges community members who become ill with symptoms of the flu to contact their primary care provider, seek care at a walk-in clinic like Mission My Care Now, conduct an online visit with a doctor or visit a nearby urgent care facility. It’s important to avoid the emergency department unless there are signs and symptoms of severe illness.

Influenza can be helped prevented by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if you are sick and by getting an annual influenza vaccination.

For more information on Mission Health or this latest update, visit www.mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC on Twitter.

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