Flu forces area hospitals to restrict visitors - WNEM TV 5

Flu forces area hospitals to restrict visitors

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More local hospitals are restricting visitors because of an increase in the flu.

St. Mary's of Michigan and Covenant Healthcare are both asking people to limit visitors to healthy immediate family members only.

St. Mary's says they would like visitors to be family members over the age of 14.

The hospitals are restricting visitations until further notice to help prevent the spread of influenza.

Health experts say H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu, is the most common strain this year.

WNEM.com's sister station KPTV in Oregon reports a 5-year-old boy died from the H1N1 virus after he collapsed on Christmas Day. According to KPTV's article, Calandra Burgess says all three of her kids got their flu shots this November, so she was surprised when her youngest son, Ronan, got sick.

"He felt really hot, and we checked his temperature, and it said it was 104.7," said Burgess. "He had that barking seal cough you'd associate with croup."

And that's what Burgess says her pediatrician in Eugene thought was wrong, Ronan had a bad case of croup. Only, when he didn't get any better, she rushed him to the local emergency room on Christmas Eve.

"They took an X-ray of his soft tissue, and noticed his airway was a little collapsed.  But they said it was nothing too disconcerting and they sent me home," said Burgess.

Then, in a matter of hours, Burgess says everything changed.

"My son collapsed on the floor, and turned blue. Both my husband and I performed CPR until the ambulance got there," said Burgess.

Ronan was rushed back to the ER, but doctors there determined he needed more specialized care, so he was sent to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

Doctors there tried to save him, but Burgess says her son went without oxygen for too long, and suffered brain damage that was irreversible. He died, days later.

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