AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Children's Hospital has lifted a restricted visitation policy it implemented last month because of swine flu.
Since April 28th, the hospital had been allowing only parents or primary caregivers to visit patients as a precaution against swine flu, also known as H1N1 influenza.
Although the number of swine flu cases reported nationwide continues to increase, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated most cases are similar to seasonal flu and don't require hospitalization, the hospital said.
''We will continue to monitor this flu daily and, as always, we expect people experiencing flu-like symptoms to refrain from visiting the hospital,'' Dr. Norman Christopher, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, said in a statement. ''This is a standard visitation policy for Akron Children's.''
The state of Ohio now has seven confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus.
The latest sickened by the global illness is a 30-year-old male from Butler County.
Other cases include 5 males and 2 females.
Ohio's first case involved a 9-year-old boy from Elyria.
The 9-year-old got H1N1 while visiting family in Mexico over Spring Break. The child's school, Ely Elementary, reopened on Wednesday, May 6th after a week long shut down.
Elyria Schools confirm that beginning Monday, May 11th, classes at Ely Elementary will begin one hour earlier at 8:15AM and end at 3:15PM. The school year for Ely students has also been extended one day. The last day of class will be June 5th.
There are 2,532 confirmed cases in the United States but that number is expected to go up. Track the Swine Flu Virus worldwide HERE
There are 3 fatalities from "H1N1" in the United States at this time.
The nation remains at a Level 5 threat, which means the disease can be easily transmitted from person to person.
Tests are still pending for two other cases in Cuyahoga County.
"These confirmations underscore the need for Ohioans to pay attention to updates and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones," said ODH Director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D.
Franklin County - 3 (31-year-old male, 33-year-old male, 18-year-old male)
Lorain County - 1 (9-year-old male)
Holmes - 1 (47-year-old female)
Portage - 1 (39-year-old female)
Butler - 1 (30-year-old male)
Cuyahoga - 2 (41-year-old female, 9-year-old male)
Recommendations from ODH and CDC:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze or use the restroom and before eating.
- Stay away from sick people as much as you can.
- If you're sick and develop warning signs indicating serious illness, go to a health provider immediately - don't wait.
- If you are sick - stay home from work or school.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue away.
- If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth as germs often spread this way.
Click HERE for complete, comprehensive coverage on the H1N1 virus - including phone numbers to local health departments and hot lines as well as recommendations from the CDC.