Increase in RSV cases forces Sierra View to restrict visitations

More off-season Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases has led to age restrictions on visitations at Sierra View Medical Center

PORTERVILLE – An increase of off-season cases of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus has forced Sierra View Medical Center to put age restrictions on visitations to the hospital.

Sierra View will begin implementing Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) restrictions to prevent the spread of this virus to those who are more susceptible beginning today, Sept. 1. Visitors under the age of 13 will be restricted from any of SVMC’s acute care units, as well as from the Distinct Part/Skilled Nursing Facility (DP/SNF), for their own protection as well as others. This restriction will be in effect until the RSV season’s conclusion, which is dependent on the number of cases seen in the area.

RSV is a common virus that causes cold symptoms in adults and children. Although RSV typically circulates during winter, RSV infections have been increasing this summer throughout the U.S. Though most healthy adults and children will experience nothing more than an infection resembling a common cold, infants and children with pre-existing medical conditions can experience severe and potentially life-threatening complications from RSV.

RSV is spread through contact and droplets, much like the common cold, so keeping children away from contaminated areas is crucial. In addition, any adults who feel ill (cold or flu-like symptoms) should also restrict their visits to protect our patients. Although masks are required throughout the facility, an infected person sneezing or coughing can spread virus through the air, and some viruses can also survive for several hours on surfaces.

The most effective way to prevent transmission of microorganisms is through continual and thorough hand washing. Always wash with soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before coming into contact with others. Remember to routinely clean household surfaces to keep them as germ-free as possible. If possible, try to avoid crowded places like malls and movie theaters, where viruses can quickly spread from person to person. If you experience cold-like symptoms, always use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, immediately dispose of it properly, then wash your hands thoroughly to prevent spreading the virus. Finally, remember to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest to help keep your immune system at full strength this season.

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