In response to the surge in active flu cases in our community, Meritus Health is encouraging all visitors to refrain from visiting Meritus Medical Center at this time, especially individuals who are most vulnerable to acquiring the flu. Those at a greater risk include, infants and children, senior citizens, and individuals with asthma, COPD, a history of heart failure or respiratory failure, or otherwise have a compromised immune system. Children 17 and under are restricted at this time from visiting patients at the hospital.
Anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms should not come to the hospital as a visitor. Flu symptoms include fever, feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue/tiredness. Some individuals may also experience vomiting or diarrhea. It is important to note that individuals with the flu may not have a fever.
If you have mild flu-like symptoms you are encouraged to treat at home with rest, fluids, ibuprofen, and steam. You should also wash your hands regularly and avoid exposing others. Call your physician’s office if you have questions about your symptoms. If your symptoms worsen, it’s important to call your physician’s office as soon as possible.
Meritus Health’s medical practices are taking extra measures to accommodate sick patients. If you do not have a primary care physician, you may contact any of the following Meritus Health medical practices to make an appointment:
North Pointe Internal Medicine - 240-313-9850
White Oak Pediatric and Adult Medicine - 240-313-9890
Potomac Family Medicine - 301-791-7900
Smithsburg Family Medical Center - 301-824-3343
Robinwood Family Practice - 301-714-4400
Williamsport Family Practice - 301-582-1150
J. Correces, MD - 301-665-4593
Robinwood Internal Medicine - 301-665-4825
WillowWood Adult Medicine - 301-714-4175
For life-threatening symptoms, individuals should call 911 or go to the Meritus Medical Center emergency department. Urgent Care centers at Robinwood Professional Center and the Sylvania Centre are also available for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Due to the large volume of flu cases, wait times are longer than usual in our Urgent Care centers and the emergency department.
Meritus Medical Center may also reschedule elective surgery cases for individuals who are more vulnerable to the flu and to reallocate those resources to the high number of inpatients with the flu.
The most effective ways to reduce your risk of acquiring the flu are to get vaccinated, to regularly wash your hands, and to avoid individuals with flu-like symptoms. The flu typically peaks in January and again in March. It is not too late to get a flu shot. The flu shot is recommended for people over six months of age. Individuals should call their primary care physician to see if the flu shot is available or stop by a Home Care Pharmacy location. All Home Care Pharmacy locations have the flu shot available. The flu shot helps prevent or lesson the severity of many strains of flu.