UW Health enforces visitor restrictions as flu concerns grow - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW Health enforces visitor restrictions as flu concerns grow

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MADISON (WKOW) -- With the flu now widespread, UW Health is taking the drastic step of changing its visitor guidelines.  They are urging anyone with any signs of illness to stay home instead of coming to see their loved ones at the hospital.

"This is a bad season," Dr. Nasia Safdar said.  "This is a step we took to protect patients, we take it very seriously," she added.

The UW Health Infectious Disease Medical Director says no one is immune from catching the flu, despite flu shots being an important step to prevent or minimize the risk, Dr. Safdar says she even had the flu in early January.

"You know it would be great if [being] in infectious diseases were to get a pass on getting infections themselves, but yeah, it can happen," she chuckled.  

She says staff that are sick are told to stay home.  Those no longer contagious but still coughing must wear masks.

With so many coming in now for treatment, Dr. Safdar says at times UW Health staff have had to get creative to find enough flu tests.

"So we look for other tests that might be available, we might need to switch the type we use as long as they get you to the same answer, there are often alternatives on the market, so we explore that," she said.

She says if you think you have the flu, you probably don't even need the hospital visit swab.

"So if your symptoms are classic and your physician thinks you need testing, they would prescribe it whether you need it or not," she said.

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