No New Inpatient Psychiatry Admissions Due to Flu Cases

Bassett Medical Center

February 28, 2017

Effective immediately and in an effort to help curb the spread of influenza in the inpatient psychiatric unit, Bassett Medical Center is not accepting new psychiatric admissions. There are currently two confirmed cases of influenza and one suspected case among 11 patients.

Dr. Charles Hyman, Chief of Medicine at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY, says, “An outbreak of influenza in a closed psychiatry unit poses a unique set of challenges different from the acute care setting in a hospital. Our decision to close the unit to new admissions limits the possibility of infecting new patients with a condition that could complicate their care.”

In addition to closing inpatient psychiatry to new admissions, all visitors are required to wear a mask. Anyone feeling ill cannot visit. Employees who work on the unit and are experiencing a fever or other symptoms of illness are not to come to work until they have recovered. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prophylaxis (Tamiflu) has been ordered for all inpatients able to receive it and offered to all employees who work on the unit.

Influenza is a serious disease accounting for possibly over 40,000 fatalities annually. Persons with significant underlying health problems are at greatest risk, but otherwise healthy persons can be significantly affected. For these reasons, closure of the psychiatric unit to new admissions will remain in effect until the current cases have resolved and there is no further spread of influenza on the unit.

The best defense against the flu is immunization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Anyone sick with flu should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is also an important preventive measure.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone will experience a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

For more information about preventing the flu and its prevalence this season, visit www.health.ny.gov/ or www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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