Latest flu stats, nothing to sneeze at

By Alex Davis |

Published 01/17 2014 04:46PM

Updated 01/17 2014 05:16PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Usually, anyone is welcome at the hospital, but now, some are asking people to stay home. Hospital officials say the flu outbreak is getting worse and keeping some people from coming to visit is one way to stop it from spreading.

It's not just people with the flu they're asking to stay away. Anyone with the common cold is asked to stay home. Some hospitals just want to protect those who are already ill and might be more susceptible to bacteria and viral infections.

Now, signs barring the sick are posted on walls and entry doors of both St. John's, in Springfield, and St. Mary's, in Decatur. The notices urge visitors with cold symptoms, chills and anything else flu-like to refrain from visiting patients.

But, sick people aren't the only group being told to stay away. Those hospitals don't want pregnant women and anyone under 18 to visit patients either.

Carle Hospital, in Urbana, doesn't have any visitor restrictions in place, but Memorial Hospital, in Springfield does. Leaders there don't want sick visitors to come into its ICU.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says there's more flu activity everyday. Across the state, 122 people are in intensive care with the flu. Six people have died. IDPH expects an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

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