Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. File photo.
Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. File photo.

Information provided by Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital.

On Feb. 12, the San Benito County Public Health Department has had an increase of severe illness from the flu. As such, Mabie Skilled Nursing Facility and Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital continue to have temporary restrictions in place for visitors to all skilled nursing residents in the two facilities, according to a recent release.

Currently there are nine confirmed seasonal flu cases among the skilled nursing residents and 12 cases among the employees.

“It is important to us to protect this vulnerable population from exposure to the flu,” said Amy Bannister, RN, MSN, infection control coordinator. “Our hope to return to normal operations as soon as possible.”

Bannister stressed that the visitor restrictions had nothing to do with the 2019 novel coronavirus. Two cases were confirmed in San Benito County in early February.

“There are a lot of seasonal flu cases in the community right now and it is important that everyone take basic precautions to reduce their risk of getting the flu,” she said.

Individuals can help reduce the risk of flu by the following:

  • Getting a flu vaccine; vaccination remains the best protection.
  • Practicing basic hand hygiene, including hand sanitizing and hand washing.
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Staying home if the following symptoms are present: fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees), chills, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue.

Influenza symptoms come on quickly in the form of fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches. These symptoms can be severe.