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Nursing Home Turns Away Sick Visitors

January 11, 2013, 10:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Nursing Home Turns Away Sick Visitors
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Nine South Dakotans have died from the flu and as experts predict the widespread virus will only get worse, before it gets better.

With the elderly one of the most at-risk groups, nursing homes are turning away visitors to contain the spread of influenza.

Prominently displayed on the inner doors of the Good Samaritan Society's facility is a sign warning sick visitors to stay away. The prohibited symptoms are specific: from fever to a cough and vomiting.

Managers have reason to be concerned. All of the people who died from the flu, so far this season in South Dakota were over the age of 75. And that's the prime demographic of the facility's residents.

"Our population, especially, is prone to illness because of their age and the different types of illnesses they have," Infection Preventionist Angie Beek.

Beek says the warning may be stern, but adds it's needed to protect the nearly 100 elderly residents inside.

"They can be very frail and we don't want to spread infection to them," Beek said.

And while the Good Samaritan Society does not have any cases of the flu inside the nursing home, the warning is meant to keep it that way.

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