PLATTSBURGH — An increase in cases of respiratory syncytial virus has prompted a change in the visitation guidelines for the Alice T. Miner Center for Women and Children at CVPH Medical Center.
Until May 9, no children younger than 16 are permitted to visit either the Maternal Newborn Unit or Pediatrics.
As an extra precaution, only two adults — in addition to the expectant mother’s significant other and labor coach — are allowed in a patient/labor room at a time.
“The center’s Visitors Lounge, located on 3M, provides a comfortable place for friends and family to wait their turn,” a press release said.
Between Oct. 1, 2013, and Jan. 16, 26 cases of RSV were confirmed at CVPH, while over the same period last year, there were just five, the release said.
“Our goal in temporarily altering our visiting policy is to protect newborns and children who are already ill during this increase in RSV,” explained Maria Hayes, Center for Women and Children director.
RSV is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs and breathing passages. It can be a potentially serious infection to infants younger than 6 months old with the following risk factors: prematurity, no access to breast milk, second- or third-hand tobacco exposure and immunodeficiency.
In older children, RSV may produce symptoms of a common cold, such as a stuffy nose, sore throat, mild headache and fever.
It is highly contagious and spreads rapidly through schools and day-care facilities. RSV usually appears in early winter and spring.
Starting May 9, siblings of the newborn, regardless of age, will be allowed to visit the infant or other loved one in the Center for Women and Children.
Another way to stay in touch with patients at the hospital is by using the patient email service located at www.cvph.org. Emails to patients at the Center for Women and Children are delivered by volunteers.
Phone service is also offered to patients at no charge.