Flu Update: Colleges and Hospitals Make Changes

1:04 AM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Students at Hilbert College start the new semester Tuesday morning, and that comes as we hit the midway part of this aggressive flu season.

As a result, the college is reminding students about the virus and how to stay healthy.

"We take more care with our maintenance department to wash door knobs and that sort of thing," said Jim Sturm, Hilbert's dean of students. "We make hand sanitizer available. So we try to do a lot to help students prevent the spread of the disease."

Hilbert is sending out an email blast with tips for students and has also hung posters with reminders of how to avoid spreading germs.

At Buffalo State College, students go back to class next week, Jan. 28. Three days later, the college will host a flu shot clinic for all students, faculty and staff.

Buff State has also adjusted its staffing schedule at the health clinic to have a clinician available more often to handle an expected influx of walk-ins.

As colleges and universities prepare for the return of students, Kaleida Health made temporary changes to its visitor policies.

At Buffalo General, DeGraff Memorial, Millard Fillmore and Women & Children's, only two visitors will be allowed to visit a patient at a time. The restriction does not apply to parents at Women & Children's.

Also, no visitors under the age of 14 will be allowed, although some exceptions will be made (i.e. end-of-life situations).

"Children are asked not to come in because they frequently don't have as much in the way of symptoms when they have the flu," Dr. John Sellick said. "So even though they may seem healthy, they may actually be shedding influenza virus."

Anyone who is sick is also being asked not to visit patients at the Kaleida hospitals. If you must, there are hand sanitizing stations available at entrances as well as masks and gloves.

Kaleida says its restrictions will be in place through the end of the flu season, possibly around the end of April.

For the latest flu information and where to find the flu vaccine, log on to wgrz.com/flu

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