Tags: Health Topics | Vaccines | Cold/Flu | Flu Outbreak in Minnesota Forcing Hospital Restrictions

Minnesota Hospitals Restricting Visitors Amid Flu Outbreak

Image: Minnesota Hospitals Restricting Visitors Amid Flu Outbreak
(Owen Humphreys/AP)

By    |   Monday, 01 January 2018 09:38 PM

The flu virus in hard-hit Minnesota has prompted some hospitals to place restrictions on visitors to stop the spread, a CBS affiliate reported.

The Minnesota Department of Health has declared influenza and respiratory illness "widespread," which means hospitals will be placing restrictions on visitors to protect patients and staff.

"We say 'stay at home if you can,'" Dr. Frank Rhame, an infectious disease doctor with Allina Health hospitals, told the outlet. "We try to keep kids under 5 out altogether, if we can. If they're under 5, they can have influenza and not look very sick and still be very infectious."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the strain H3N2 is responsible for the majority of the deadliest cases reported this season, Fox News reported.

In the last week of 2017, 21 states experienced high influenza activity, while another five qualified in the moderate range.

So far, more than 30 people have been reported dead from the flu this season, USA Today reported last week. At least 11 people younger than 65 have died in California, while North Carolina has reported 12 deaths and South Carolina seven.

According to CDC data, the flu virus has caused between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses in the U.S. each year since 2010, Fox News reported, adding those cases resulted in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths each year.

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"Widespread" influenza and respiratory illness, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, will now force hospitals to place restrictions on visitors to protect patients and staff.
Flu Outbreak in Minnesota Forcing Hospital Restrictions
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2018-38-01
Monday, 01 January 2018 09:38 PM
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