Charlotte-area hospitals change visitor policies because of flu

Charlotte-area hospitals change visitor policies because of flu

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 11 at 7:27 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New restrictions are now in place at area hospitals as health care facilities try to stop the spread of the flu.

Matthew Forney was standing just inside the hospital entrance at Carolinas Medical Center Thursday, on the phone with his wife.

"I'm picking up my wife, she just had our second child," he said.

Newborn Miles met his big brother Mason Wednesday, but on Thursday, 3-year-old Mason was not allowed upstairs.

"I wasn't expecting to not be able to get upstairs. I guess they're protecting the kids," he said.

Children under twelve are not allowed in the hospital as CMC tries to slow the spread of the flu in the worst influenza season in 10 years.

"I'd rather do that than expose him to something that can make him sick," said Forney.

Just-released numbers show some good news.

At the peak of the season -- back in December -- there were 813 people in Mecklenburg County emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms. This past week, just 373.

But health officials caution we're just now hitting what is annually the height of the flu season, and the numbers could spike again.

Matthew Forney is grateful to be leaving the hospital with two healthy boys.

"Definitely keeping them safe and happy and healthy. Definitely."

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