Hallmark Health joins hospitals and health care organizations from around the state and the country in taking this proactive step toward preventing the flu from spreading to hospital patients. Hallmark Health recognizes the role that family plays in a patients’ recovery and for that reason, despite the restrictions on children under 18, exceptions may be made under special circumstances. Nursing leaders will determine when those exceptions can be made without compromising the quality and safety of the patient care environment.

Hallmark Health is also urging visitors over the age of 18 to postpone their visit to the hospital if they have been around adults or children who are sick with the cold or flu, have symptoms of a cold or influenza, have a fever or have had a fever within the past week or have been nauseated, vomited or had diarrhea.

The hospitals are also discouraging children under the age of 18 from accompanying a parent or family member to a hospital appointments.

Symptoms of the flu include aches and pains, headache, sore throat, sudden fever or dizziness, cough, head and lung congestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Malden; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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