New visitor restrictions at Phoenix Children's Hospital

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PHOENIX -- There's an increase in respiratory viruses in the community, and because of that, Phoenix Children’s Hospital put temporary visitor restrictions into effect Monday morning. Those restrictions apply to all Phoenix Children’s patient care areas.

Tess Rafols talked to Dr. David Bank about the restrictions, as well as the symptoms of respiratory infections.

Children must be 12 years old to visit patients and all visitors must be free of respiratory symptoms.

“Even simple colds can be life-threatening for hospitalized children who may have other serious health problems,” explained Scott Ostdiek, MD, Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control Department at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “Young children are not as careful with hand-washing and other measures that help prevent the spread of infections.”

The restrictions apply only to hospital visitors, not Phoenix Children’s patients presenting in the Emergency Department or patients seeking medical care.

Symptoms of respiratory virus may include fever, coughing, labored breathing, wheezing, and nasal congestion.

Respiratory viruses are the leading cause of lower respiratory tract disease in young children and the leading cause of death among low-birth-weight babies.