Flu activity prompts area hospitals to limit visitors

Local News

During this time of increased seasonal flu activity OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, UnityPoint Health’s Methodist, Proctor, Pekin campuses, Hopedale Medical Complex and Kindred Hospital are asking the public to voluntarily limit hospital visits.

“We want to make sure we are taking the necessary precautions early on,” said Public Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson.

Hendrickson says visitors should be at least 18 years old, “As we know with little children specifically the ability to control or cover for diseases spread is very common.”

Dr. Brian Curtis with OSF Medical Healthcare says despite the misconceptions flu shots are the best way to keep you and the ones around you healthy.

“It takes about two weeks to get the flu shot to take effect, and it is 60-65% effective,” said Curtis.

If you’re not feeling well or have had flu like symptoms in the past seven days, you shouldn’t visit patients either. To reduce the spread of germs health officials are asking you to practice the 3 C’s, clean, cover and contain.

“Clean, wash your hands or use some type of anti- biotic hand sanitizer,” Hendrickson said. She adds, “Cover, sneeze or cough into your elbow, and then and then contain, if you’re not feeling well stay at home or school to avoid spreading those illnesses.”

If you do have to visit a hospital, protective masks will be made available.

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