Rochelle Community Hospital Announces Visitor Restrictions in Response to Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Effective immediately, Rochelle Community Hospital has announced that it is restricting visitors under the age of 18 from visiting the hospital until further notice due to recent confirmed cases of Pertussis in Ogle County. This change in policy is aimed to protect patients and children from Pertussis (whooping cough) in response to the increased incidence of symptoms related to this disease. In addition:
- The number of people visiting a patient has been limited to two at any one time.
- Visitors with severe coughs, including a fever, sneezing or sore throat should not visit patients.
- Patients and/or visitors who present with severe coughing will be required to wear a mask.
It is in the best interest of patients and staff to limit the presence of younger children in the hospital until further notice. Obviously, RCH will continue to see children whose parents have brought them in seeking medical attention.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Symptoms
Early symptoms of the disease usually start with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever. This can include a runny nose, low-grade fever, and a mild, occasional cough. After 1 to 2 weeks, as the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms may appear and include: fits of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop” sound, vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits, exhaustion (very tired) after coughing fits.
Whooping cough is spread through coughing and sneezing in close contact with others who then breathe the pertussis bacteria.
If you have whooping cough symptoms, please call your doctors office first. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, by all means call your physician’s office or come to Convenient Care at RCH, utilize the Emergency department or call 911 depending on the seriousness of the situation.
If you come to the Hospital for care you may be asked to wear a mask while waiting or be placed in a segregated area with other patients with similar symptoms. Please do not be offended by this as it is meant to protect other patients who are here that do not have whooping cough symptoms.
How long should I stay home?
For whooping cough, 5 days of antibiotics must be completed before returning to school or work. Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events and public gatherings. If you must leave the house, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often to keep from spreading the disease to others.
There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Remember the 3C’s, spread the word, not germs or illness.
Clean Hands – Wash your hands often with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds
Cover – Cover your cough or sneeze
Contain the germs - Stay home when you are sick.
RCH Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator