Hospital puts stricter restrictions in place to protect against flu

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FREEHOLD -

A Monmouth County hospital is putting stricter restrictions into place due to a high number of flu patients.

CentraState Medical Center in Freehold announced that it would no longer allow visitors under the age of 14 to come inside unless there is a special circumstance. Hospital officials say that this is because children are more likely to be carriers of the cold and flu virus. The restrictions will be in place until the end of the peak flu season.

CentraState officials say that 370 flu patients have come through the emergency department since January.

“This is the worse flu season I’ve seen in my entire life,” says Dr. Allen Nau.

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Nau says that hospital staff is seeing 200 patients a day – 30 percent of them with the flu.

“This really hits people hard. They’re like coming in curled in a ball, not feeling well, just overall feeling lousy,” he says.

Hospital officials say that they want to protect the patients in the hospital as much as possible from outside infection, hence the new restrictions.

There are also masks and hand sanitizer available at the front desk for other visitors. Visitors are also asked to wash their hands when leaving or entering the hospital and to cover their faces if they cough or sneeze.

The hospital has also dedicated two units just to patients who have been admitted for the flu.

Health officials say that New Jersey residents can still get the flu vaccine, which should help protect against some symptoms associated with the virus.

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