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Area hospitals take steps to avoid spread of flu

(Image: WTVC)

UPDATE: On Tuesday, January 16th, Erlanger announced that flu cases have skyrocketed compared to last year:

Depend on us to keep you posted.

PREVIOUSLY:

This flu season is a virulent one, and area hospitals are taking extra measures to make sure the virus doesn't spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is widespread flu activity in 46 states, including Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. The Chattanooga area is part of the pattern.

Parkridge Hospital spokesman Jamie Lawson says they are asking visitors to refrain from bringing child visitors under the age of 18 to the main hospital and the East campus.

Lawson says each visitor is also encouraged to wear a mask that's provided at the main entrance elevators and on request - especially if they're not feeling well.

Visitors are also strongly encouraged to wash their hands any time they enter or leave a room, any time they touch an object, and especially any time after they sneeze or cough.

Lawson says a periodic overhead announcement also reminds visitors to take precautions against the flu.

CHI Memorial says that they have not changed their visitation policy due to sickness.

Jan Keys, Chief Nursing Executive of Erlanger Health System, says "Our staff members are taking necessary precautions to protect our patients throughout flu season. These include monitoring visitation in several areas, providing masks and hand sanitizer for all visitors and strongly encouraging their use."

NewsChannel 9 has reached out to other area hospitals to see what precautions they are taking. This story will be updated.

Check out this link for a look at how high the numbers are for influenza like illnesses in Hamilton County compared to previous years.

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