Dubuque's hospitals limiting visitors due to circulating viruses - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's hospitals limiting visitors due to circulating viruses

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

In order to protect each hospital's patients, both Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital in Dubuque are imposing visitor restrictions, effective Monday and until further notice.

Hospitals are not allowing children under the age of 14 to visit inpatients at either location. The rule comes in response to an increase in the number of viral illnesses throughout the area, according to a joint media release from the hospitals.

"Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the flu and viral infections," the release says. "Visitation restrictions are an important safety precaution designed to protect both hospital patients and the community from the spread of infection."

Additionally, the hospitals encourage anybody with signs of a cold or flu to avoid visiting hospital patients. Symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses," the release said.

Medical experts also encourage people to practice careful hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into a sleeve or tissue, staying at home when sick and using antiseptic hand gel.

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