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Uptick in flu activity prompts visitor restrictions at local hospitals

The past few weeks, hospitals are seeing a rise in the H3N2 flu virus.

Posted: Mar. 22, 2019 6:29 AM
Updated: Mar. 22, 2019 6:37 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The past few weeks, hospitals are seeing a rise in the H3N2 flu virus.

"We've been seeing a very marked increase in flu. Interestingly this flu season started off slow with the majority of it H1N1, the pandemic flu strain," said Dr. Scott Stienecker, Parkview Regional Medical Center.

Just because you catch one strain of the flu doesn't mean you can't catch another right after.

"We have been seeing a lot of all ages coming into the hospital however because the H3N2 virus doesn't match up as well with the strains that are used to develop the vaccines," said Stienecker.

This has promoted visitor restrictions at local Allen County hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes. The restrictions could last about a month.

"We are requesting the general public to limit the number of visitors to 2 visitors per person. We're requesting that visitors under the age of 18 not visitm," said Stienecker.

Parkview Regional Medical Center has provided masks in their lobbies for people with cold or flu-like symptoms wear in public areas or waiting rooms.

"The standard yellow mask, and then for our kids we also have the fashionable Disney masks as well," said Stienecker.

The best way to minimize spreading the flu? Avoid work or school if you have cold or flu-like symptoms and cover your cough.

"Also, hand hygiene is very important and always, get your flu vaccine, " said Stienecker.

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