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Swine Flu Forces Hospitals to Change Visiting Policy

This article is more than 10 years old.

As concerns over swine flu continue to grow, some Massachusetts hospitals are barring young people from visiting patients, even if the visiting children are healthy.

Friday, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center said it would bar children under the age of 13 from making hospital visits at all three of its Worcester campuses..

Dr. Robert Klugman, chief quality officer for U-Mass Memoria Medical Center said 13 is not a "particularly scientific" number, but it is around that age that children are typically more responsible about hand-washing, and knowing when they are getting sick.

He said now is the time for increased vigilance.

"Because of the recent upsurge in influenza in the Worcester area, as well as a bit of an uptick we've seen with patients in our institution, we feel that the virus is now very active," he said.

However, Klugman stressed that exceptions would be made for children to visit loved ones who are critically ill.

"We would make exceptions without hesitation for many circumstances such as critically ill parents, grandparents, loved ones and other circumstances," he said. ""But those will be made on a case-by-case basis without hesitation."

This program aired on October 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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