Press release from Mission Health, shared Jan. 2:

Increase in flu incidence a concern

ASHEVILLE – Due to an increase in influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina, Mission Health is asking that family and friends limit their visitations to patients in the hospital. In particular, Mission Health is asking children under age 12 and people who do not feel well to call patients rather than visit them. Mission Health has implemented this precaution at Mission Hospital and all Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in Western North Carolina including CarePartners in Asheville, McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Angel Medical Center in Franklin.

In addition to limiting exposure, the spread of the flu can be controlled with frequent hand washing. All visitors to the hospital are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting.

“This decision is based on recommendations from Mission Health’s Infection Prevention Committee in an effort to minimize the spread of influenza among patients,” said Dr. Dale Fell, senior vice president and system chief medical officer of Mission Health. “Our patients are our first priority and their health and safety is paramount as we work toward our goal of achieving our bigger aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”

Limiting visitations is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches a certain level. Should the flu activity level increase, further restrictions may be implemented or recommended. As a reminder, people are asked not visit the hospital whenever they are not feeling well and not just during the flu season.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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