Banner Health News Center  

Washakie Medical Center sees spike in emergency room visits due to seasonal illness


WORLAND, Wyo. (Jan. 15, 2013) – Washakie Medical Center has seen a recent spike in emergency room visits due to seasonal illness. Illnesses include common viral infections like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza (i.e. flu).

The hospital has established visitor restrictions in certain areas. Effective immediately, children 12 and under will not be permitted to visit areas of the hospital where patients are admitted, including areas involving obstetrics and newborns. In addition, hospital officials ask that you not visit patients in the hospital if you are exhibiting signs of a respiratory illness (i.e. cough, fever, congestion, runny nose).

“We understand this may be difficult for you and your family,” said Margie Molitor, chief executive officer at Washakie Medical Center, “but please understand that this decision was made in the best interest of our patients. Our patients come to the hospital to get better, and we are committed to providing them with the safest healing environment possible during their stay.”

Seasonal illness symptoms can include sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea. It is important to closely monitor your health if you are experiencing these symptoms. Drinking lots of fluids and replenishing your electrolytes may help lessen some of the symptoms and aid in your recovery. Avoid areas where you could spread your illness to others, and schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor if you are concerned about your health. If you start having difficulty breathing, chest pain or other worsening symptoms, seek emergency care. 

“It is important for the community to take every precaution to avoid contracting the flu or other respiratory illnesses,” said Sherrill Sorensen, chief nursing officer at Washakie Medical Center. “Those protections include getting vaccinated, staying at home if you feel ill, covering your cough and washing your hands.”

For more information and resources, visit

Washakie Medical Center is a county-owned hospital operated by Banner Health. The hospital serves as a 25-bed, critical access facility with expanding technology to meet the needs of the Big Horn Basin residents.

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