RSV Restrictions Coming to Sierra View Medical Center

Porterville, CA l January 18, 2017 – Sierra View Medical Center will begin implementing Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) restrictions on Friday, January 20 to prevent the spread of this virus to those who are more susceptible to it. Visitors under the age of 13 will be restricted from any of SVMC’s acute care units, as well as from our Distinct Part/ Skilled Nursing Facility, for their own protection. This restriction will be in effect at the hospital until the RSV season’s conclusion which is dependent on the number of cases seen in the area. Since the season’s inception, the hospital has seen an estimated 30 cases of RSV which has led to the visitor restrictions in an effort to prevent more serious cases of the virus from spreading in the area. However, children who require hospitalization will receive normal care. Sierra View Medical Center is a family-centered hospital, and as such, urges visitors to comply with this restriction until further notice for the safety of visiting children and the well-being of patients, other visitors, and community members alike.

What Is RSV?

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.

How Can it Be Treated?

Though there is no known cure for viruses like the common cold and RSV, over-the-counter medicines are proven to be temporarily effective in suppressing symptoms. However, you and your pediatrician are crucial partners in the well-being of your child. If at any time you are unsure about his or her condition, please call a health care professional immediately.

How Can it Be Prevented?

RSV is spread through contact, much like the common cold, so keeping children away from potentially contaminated areas is crucial. An infected person sneezing or coughing can spread the virus through the air, and RSV can also survive for several hours on surfaces like a desktop, doorknob or telephone.

The most effective way to prevent RSV is through continual and thorough hand washing. Always wash with soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before coming into contact with others. Remember to routinely clean household surfaces to keep them as germ-free as possible. If possible, try to avoid crowded places like malls and movie theaters, where the virus can quickly spread from person to person. If you experience cold-like symptoms, always use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, immediately dispose of it properly, then wash your hands thoroughly to prevent spreading the virus. Finally, remember to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest to help keep your immune system at full strength this season.