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Restricted Visitations Due to RSV & Other Viruses

*Please note, visitation restrictions on units that treat children and babies take effect across the WakeMed system on October 1, 2017.

Dear patients, families and friends,

During the fall, winter and early spring, viruses like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and influenza (flu) are circulating in our communities.

For most people who are healthy and older than the age of five, RSV and the flu are typically illnesses that cause discomfort for about a week. In newborns and young children, RSV and the flu can be deadly.

Because RSV and the flu are viruses, there are very few means to protect you and your baby/child if you come into contact with a contagious person, and limited treatment options are available to help once the virus is contracted.

The best protection is to avoid contact with individuals who carry this virus. It is very important to us that we do everything in our power to protect the new babies, children and moms on our units, which is why every year we restrict visitation to all units across our system where we care for babies and young children.

Beginning October 1, 2017, these areas include:

WakeMed Raleigh Campus

WakeMed Cary Hospital & WakeMed North

  • Special Care Nursery
  • Labor, Delivery & Postpartum Unit

We ask that, as of October 1, 2017, visitors to these areas:

  • Be 12 years of age or older
  • Refrain from visiting a child or infant if they have a fever, cough or runny nose
  • Wash their hands frequently

Here are some resources to help you learn more about flu, RSV and illness prevention:

By limiting visitation, we hope to prevent these viruses from entering our units, potentially exposing hundreds of babies and new moms to a potentially deadly disease. We truly understand that this visitation restriction is difficult for families to understand, but it is our job to make sure your fragile newborn baby enters the world in an infection-free environment. We greatly appreciate your understanding and support of this policy.


Vickie Brown, Director, Infection Control


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about visitation restrictions. As always, if you have additional questions, please ask your care team or contact us directly by emailing

How did you pick 12 and under as the age range?

Children under the age of 12 are much more likely to be carriers of a respiratory virus due to their less-than-perfect hygiene practices and close proximity to others who may be sick.

Children are well known for not washing their hands frequently and for putting many things in their mouths that adults never would.  Additionally, close proximity and extended contact with large numbers of other children in school or daycare, makes them particularly likely to contract a respiratory infection.

Some respiratory infections, such as the flu, are actually contagious 24 hours before they show symptoms.  This means, your child may feel and act completely fine, but still be highly contagious.  In fact, it is during this period that individuals are most contagious!

Are exceptions ever made to the visitation restrictions, and if so, how do I get approval for an exception?

Exceptions are made in very, very rare instances primarily for bereavement purposes or other significant extenuating family circumstances.

When will the visitation restrictions be lifted?

We closely monitor the prevalence of RSV and other respiratory viruses circulating in the community. Usually the amount of illness in the community starts to decline in early March. We will lift visitation restrictions as soon as we safely can.

Questions/Concerns? Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns that you would like us to specifically address, please speak with your attending physician or email us at  Make sure to include the location of your delivery and your physician’s name so we can route your question appropriately.