Porterville, CA April 4, 2017: After almost three months of limiting visitor access and ensuring the
safety of younger visitors, Sierra View Medical Center announced the end
of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Influenza (flu) season on Monday,
April 3. The local hospital has not seen a flu case in over two weeks
and an RSV case has not been reported in over a month. The absence of
these viruses in the area assures doctors and staff at Sierra View that
allowing visitors under the age of 13 to once again visit any of SVMC’s
acute care units, as well as the Distinct Part/ Skilled Nursing Facility,
is not a risk to their health.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that causes cold symptoms
in adults and children. Though most healthy adults and children will experience
nothing more than an infection resembling a common cold, infants and children
with pre-existing medical conditions can experience severe and potentially
life-threatening complications from RSV.
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious respiratory
illness caused by the flu virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs.
Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year.
Throughout the season, the hospital evaluated and treated an estimated
35 cases of RSV and 67 flu cases which led to the visitor restrictions
in an effort to prevent more serious cases of the virus from spreading
in the San Joaquin Valley. However, the number of cases seen was representative
of a fairly active season with maximum effort required to prevent the
spread of these viruses.
As a family-centered hospital, Sierra View Medical Center took necessary
precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors who are more
susceptible to the viruses, such as young children, as well as the well-being
of patients, other visitors, and community members throughout the season.
Sierra View Medical Center no longer has visitor restrictions in place
as of Monday, April 3 to allow for entire families to once again visit
their loved ones receiving treatment at the hospital.