Hospitals across the US are turning away visitors to prevent spread of the flu.
New Jersey، North Carolina، and Indiana are just a few of the states putting limits on the influx of people to their wards، with many more set to follow، as the Daily Mail said.
Some hospitals، including in Arizona and Rhode Island، will make visitors wear masks.
Nineteen states and New York City now have high levels of flu-like activity، with thousands of cases confirmed، at least 13 child deaths، and an unknown number of adult deaths. ocusing on hospital visitors is standard procedure in the height of flu season، which we are entering now.
Rates spike between December and March، and although this year's strain is nowhere near as deadly as last year's، there is no fail-safe way of protecting yourself.
The best bet you can have is to get the flu shot، wash your hands regularly، stay hydrated، and get good sleep.
Hospitals can't be sure، though، that everyone flowing in through their doors is doing that - particularly stressed relatives whose loved-ones are sick.
In parts of North Carolina، pregnant women have been banned from the wards، as well as children under 12 and people with chronic conditions.
In Marion County، Indiana، only nuclear family members can come in. In Wisconsin، children under 12 are banned.
In Scottsdale، Arizona، masks are required for all visitors، while Providence is (for now، at least) only requiring masks for people who do not have a flu shot.
'Many of our patients do have a compromised immune system because they're fighting another illness and that's why they're in the hospital in the first place،' Jennifer Burrows، chief nursing officer at Providence St Vincent Medical Center، told KPTV.
This year، 90 percent of flu cases tested by the CDC are H1N1، the same strain that caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009.
It is a much، much milder strain than the H3N2 which killed more than 80،000 Americans last season.
Ten percent of people have been diagnosed with H3N2.
Thankfully this year's flu shot is much more effective this year، and the CDC is urging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves.