HELENA — St. Peter’s Health is implementing visitor restrictions due to increasing influenza activity, and opened their seasonal Cold, Cough and Flu Clinic on Monday Dec. 6.
“Flu season is really kicking into full gear here, so we’ve initiated visitor restrictions to try and protect the patients and visitors,” said Dr. Todd Wampler, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care. “We’re trying to prevent the spread of influenza in the community.”
Children that are 12 years or younger as well as anyone showing flu-like symptoms, are restricted from the Regional Medical Center unless they are seeking care.
People should go to the Cold, Cough and Flu Clinic, located in the Medical Group’s North Clinic at 3330 Ptarmigan Lane, if they are in need of treatment for: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion.
The clinic will be open from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients can make an appointment by calling 457-4180 or using the online St. Peter’s Health Patient Portal.
According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, there have been 789 reported cases of influenza in the state as of Dec. 29, with 307 reported in the week of Dec. 22 through Dec. 29 alone.
There have been 46 hospitalizations, but no deaths reported as of this time.
“We see [influenza] every year but we also can’t forget it can be deadly, particularly for people who are susceptible to illnesses,” said Dr. Wampler. “The very young, the very old and anyone with chronic medical conditions need to be very careful with wit it because it does kill people every year, a large number of them.”