The worst flu since the early 2000s strikes
All of that prompted metro Detroit's Beaumont hospital chain to take an unusual step Friday afternoon: banning visits from children under 13 until the flu season subsides.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” said a news release from Beaumont Health System, which operates eight major hospitals in southeast Michigan.
“All Beaumont Health hospitals are experiencing high volumes of patients with respiratory viral illnesses, predominantly influenza,” the release said.
“For the safety of our patients and staff, visitation by children under 13 years of age is limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as severe illness of a parent or sibling, or end-of-life situation.”
Even if children are not obviously sick, they shouldn't visit a hospital because they could be carriers of the influenza virus, said Dr. Christopher Carpenter, section head of infectious diseases at Royal Oak-Beaumont Hospital.