UMC visitors younger than 16 prevented from being in high-risk areas

University Medical Center is changing its policy on visitors because of the H1N1 emergency, officials announced Thursday.

UMC officials will not allow visitors younger than 16 to come into high-risk areas, including critical care units, transplant areas, floors that house cancer patients or pediatric patients, and areas where patients with H1N1 are being treated.

"While we understand the value of an entire family visiting a patient, people under the age of 16 are the most likely carriers of the flu, and for the health of our patients and visitors, these new restrictions have been put into place," spokeswoman Danita Cohen wrote in an e-mail.

President Barack Obama recently declared the H1N1 pandemic a national emergency.

The number of H1N1-related fatalities in Clark County is 18, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Southern Nevada Health District.

Four deaths occurred last week, and two others happened earlier in October, according to a health district news release.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0383.