Due to high levels of respiratory viruses in the community, Minden Medical Center (MMC) is implementing H1N1 and seasonal Influenza precautions.
"H1N1 is one of the strains of Influenza," Ashley Frye, R.N. Infection Prevention said. "CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and Louisiana Office of Public Health have identified H1N1 as the predominant strain (or subtype) of Influenza Type A."
Restrictions to visiting patients will be in place during peak flu season, which lasts until April 1. MMC is asking that children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and people with chronic lung diseases not visit patients during this time.
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of their patients and to help prevent the spread of infection, MMC also asks that visitors are limited to three per patient. Those with flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or runny nose should not visit at all.
Persons should ask for a mask if they are suffering with flu-like illness (fever over 100 degrees with cough or sore throat) and are in the hospital for tests or procedures.
Frye said tests to determine the "strain" of Influenza must be specifically ordered by a physician.
"Most flu tests commonly used in doctors' offices and hospitals determine if you are positive or negative for the flu and the 'type' of flu (A or B)," she said.
However, treatment for Influenza is the same regardless of type or strain. Treatment can vary depending on complications, which may arise from the flu.
"We have had no specific orders for a test for a particular strain of flu," Frye said. "Based on this information, I can say no 'specific' diagnosis for the H1N1 strain of Influenza Type A has been given.
"However, based on information from surveillance agencies on a state and national level (those who monitor tests ordered to determine strains) the majority of specimens positive for Type A are, indeed, H1N1."