Springfield hospitals restricting child visitors because of jump in flu cases

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Hospitals from South Bend to Evansville have imposed restrictions that include barring visitors other than immediate family or other significant persons.

Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month that flu activity was on the rise and local experts say holiday events with many people in confined spaces are the flawless environments for the virus to spread from person to person.

The news comes as Monterey County announced its first flu-related death of the season on Thursday; the county did not identify the deceased, but said the flu victim was an adult younger than 65.

Flu season typically peaks anywhere between December and March, according to the CDC. Data shows the highest incidents are for newborns to 4 years old and those 5 to 17 years old.

If you believe you are coming down with the flu, the CDC recommends you follow these simple steps.

'There was a health alert on Wednesday letting providers know that they should be highly suspicious of anyone with flu-like symptoms and start treating them with antivirals, ' Anton said. That's up from 84 cases reported during the previous week. More and more people are getting sick, but the state of IL says there's still time to get a flu shot. "This is particularly important for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions", said DPH Medical Director Dr. Awele Maduka-Ezeh.

The agency also urges people to stay at home when sick, cover mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands frequently.

A media release from the ADPH reminds the public that the flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

CDC officials stated in reports that the most common type A strain circulating nationwide is H3N2, which has a history of causing more hospitalizations and deaths. "It's not too late to get vaccinated".

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