St. Joseph Hospital in London has established visiting limits in response to the influenza outbreak.

It will also eliminate for this year the service of X-raying Halloween candy as it has done in the past because of the risk of spreading germs and viruses.

Effective immediately, those visiting patients in the hospital are limited to persons 18 years or older.

Sharon Hershberger, public relations director, said the limits are meant to “safeguard patients, hospital staff and the community.”

She explained those younger than 18 are at the highest risk of developing influenza, seasonal and H1N1 (called swine flu), because of the potential exposure they have to other children.

Debbie Hardin, public relations director at Baptist Regional Medical Center, confirmed that similar limits established earlier are still in effect at Corbin’s hospital.

The X-ray department at BRMC will check Halloween candy for foreign objects from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, on Friday, Oct. 30.

Hershberger reminded potential visitors that proper hand cleansing is effective in preventing the spread of flu.

Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve at the elbow also can limit the spread of the disease.

Touching eyes, nose and mouth should be avoided.

Limiting exposure to public areas and confined areas will also help prevent infection.

Those with flu symptoms should stay home except when seeking medical attention, Hershberger said.

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