Area hospitals begin restrictions to battle against deadly flu virus

INDIANAPOLIS - Some hospitals began utilizing new restrictions Monday aimed at stopping the spread of this year's deadly flu virus. Health officials hope to protect the sickest (and most vulnerable) Hoosiers from the threat.

Officials said the flu precautions could stay in place anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month.

Linnie Williamson’s daughter is recovering from surgery at St. Vincent Health. She’s glad to see new restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the flu.

"I think it's great that they're doing that so as not to carry it in to the patients that are here," Williamson said.

"We have an immuno-compromised patient population so we don't want them exposed if they don't have to be," St. Vincent Health R.N. Gwynn Perlich said.

Perlich said no one under 18 will be allowed to visit loved ones unless they have special permission.  And adults showing any signs of illness - such as nasal drainage, cough, or fever - should wear a mask and use thorough hand hygiene. Better yet, they shouldn't come to the hospital at all.

New numbers released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control show widespread influenza activity now in 40 states, including Indiana. That's up from 35 the week before - and 25 the week before that.

Signage is up warning hospital visitors of the dangers. And letters have been given to all patients.

Most visitors agree - it's better safe than sorry.

The restrictions went into effect at some hospitals, such as Riley Hospital for Children, Monday. Others will begin enforcing restrictions on Wednesday.

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