Scripps hospital restricts visitation to protect against flu

Scripps Hospital announced on Tuesday that it is restricting visitors in five San Diego County hospitals to protect patients and staff from the flu.

"With cases of H1N1 influenza rising quickly in the area, we are taking precautionary measures to limit the risk of infection in our hospitals," Scripps Chief Medical Officer James LaBelle said. "We ask that visitors follow these new guidelines so that we can maintain the safest possible environment for everyone."

The restrictions went into effect on Tuesday at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla.

All visitors will be screened, and anyone displaying flu-like symptoms will be asked to leave. Children 14 years of age or younger will not be allowed inside the hospital unless they are receiving treatment. Visiting will be limited to four people per patient, and exceptions may be allowed.

Scripps doctors said that it is not too late to receive a flu vaccination, and suggested people avoid emergency rooms unless they are suffering from serious flu symptoms. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain or pressure, dizziness, confusion and persistent vomiting.