CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois hospitals are being asked to enforce restrictions on visitors because of the severe flu outbreak that's increasing the risk of infection throughout the state.
The Illinois Department of Public Health advised hospitals Friday to temporarily bar visitors younger than 18 and to limit visitors to two per patient at one time.
Other recommendations include requesting people with coughs and other symptoms not visit hospital patients.
Many hospitals already were limiting visitors because of the flu before the letter from the health department.
The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council polled its member hospitals earlier this week and found that 20 percent were already altering their visitor policies.
Rob Humrickhouse of the MCHC says if people feel sick they shouldn't visit somebody in the hospital. He says: "Stay home."
CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago is seeing a slight decrease in flu activity, but health officials say the dip may be only temporary.
Last week there were 31 patients in hospital intensive care units with the flu, a decrease from 35 the previous week.
Public health officials are getting creative as they reach out to the public with flu information. Chicago's health department is holding a chat on Twitter to answer questions.
Chicago Department of Public Health spokesman Brian Richardson says there's more than enough vaccine to go around, including free flu shots.
The flu vaccine is reformulated each year, and officials say this year's version is a good match to the viruses going around.
Illinois is among the 24 states hardest hit by the flu.
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