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FAYETTEVILLE – Cape Fear Valley Health has implemented a visitor restriction policy at all of its hospitals restricting children under age 12 from visiting.

The policy went into effect today, Jan. 7. It is designed to minimize the spread of flu and flu-like diseases at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center, Behavioral Health Care, Hoke Hospital and Bladen County Hospital, as well as Harnett Health’s two hospitals: Betsy Johnson Hospital and Central Harnett Hospital.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Emergency Department will also limit visitors while the policy is in place.

People experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose are urged not to visit friends and family at the hospitals. Instead, they should stay home and call their primary care physician for treatment guidance.

Experts warn antibiotics only fight bacterial infections, not viruses like the flu. Taking antibiotics needlessly can sicken users, increase the odds for future infections, and decrease antibiotic effectiveness for everyone.

Hand washing is the best way to prevent the flu and other infections. Cape Fear Valley has hand hygiene stations throughout its hospitals and outside every patient room. Users should sanitize their hands all over, especially under the nails and between fingers. Hands should be rubbed together until they are dry.

Cape Fear Valley will revisit its flu restriction policy when flu numbers decrease.

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