Vidant Health will begin limiting visitors to its children’s hospital because of the prevalence of respiratory virus infections in eastern North Carolina, the hospital announced.

Starting today the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center will only welcome visitors 12 years of age and older who are not exhibiting symptoms of a cold or flu, diarrhea, vomiting or headaches.

The restrictions are needed because of a high number of people with the respiratory viruses in the community, a news release from the hospital said.

The temporary precaution will help limit the spread of infections while protecting hospital patients, their loved ones and Vidant Health team members, the release said. The limitations will be lifted as soon as viral respiratory illnesses decrease in the community.

Healthy children under the age of 12 may visit their healthy newborn sibling. Additional exceptions will be made in special circumstances — or with prior approval from the patient’s health care team.

To prevent the spread of viruses, health experts recommend:

  • Washing hands frequently
  • Keeping children home from school when sick
  • Not sharing cups or utensils
  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze

Family and visitors of any age should not come to the hospital if they have symptoms of a cold or flu, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or headaches, the release stated.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.