URBANA — Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center have imposed new temporary visitor restrictions due to increasing flu in the area.
Both hospitals join Presence Covenant Medical Center and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, which began restricting visitors Wednesday due to flu.
At Carle's Urbana and Hoopeston hospitals, up to two visitors will be permitted to be in a patient's room at one time.
Carle is also adopting the following Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines to limit flu spread among patients and visitors:
— Visitors with respiratory illness are requested not to visit the hospital, or to wear a mask if they must visit.
— If a patient is in isolation because of flu, visitors will be limited to those who are vital to the patient's emotional well-being and care.
— Visitors should cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw away that tissue immediately.
— Visitors should wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after blowing their noses, coughing or sneezing.
High risk areas in the hospital may implement more visitor limits, according to Carle.
The neonatal intensive care unit is already restricting visitors to parents, healthy people over age 18 (unless they are parents) and to a maximum of two primary caregivers and up to four support persons.
Flu hospitalizations typically affect people ages 65 and older, but of the 3,745 influenza-associated hospitalizations that have been reported in all states this flu season, 61 percent have been in people ages 18 to 64, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The same pattern of more hospitalizations among younger people was seen during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, according to the CDC.