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American Family Children’s Hospital to restrict visitors during rise in virus, flu cases

MADISON (WKOW) – American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison has temporarily restricted visitors in the inpatient units because of an increase in a strain of virus and widespread flu activity.

Because of an uptick in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and widespread influenza activity, the hospital is restricting visitors for the first time since 2009 due to H1N1, according to a news release.

Beginning Friday, Jan. 24, children under age 12 will not be allowed as visitors in the inpatient units.

This will not impact clinic appointments on the first and second floor of American Family Children’s Hospital.

This will not impact University Hospital.

Many hospitalized children are acutely ill with compromised immune systems, and influenza or respiratory infection such as RSV can exacerbate an already-difficult health condition.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but it can pose serious risks for infants or older adults and can even be fatal.

While it is expected these restrictions will be temporary, there is no specific end date identified at this time.

There are currently 25 pediatric patients in isolation as a precaution for respiratory illness.

Between September 1, 2019 and January 22, 2020 there have been 228 pediatric flu cases, seven hospitalizations, six pediatric RSV infections, and five hospitalizations.