INDIANAPOLIS -- Influenza cases have spiked in Indianapolis emergency rooms prompting the Marion County Health Department to ask the hospitals to limit visitors.
The bad part about the flu is how it spreads. “You can be contagious before you show any symptoms," said Melissa McMasters of the Marion County Health Department, "and once someone is sick with flu – one of the most important things they can do is stay home. Stay home from work – stay home from school. Don’t spread it to others.”
The health department Wednesday asked all the hospitals in Indianapolis to limit visitors, so McMasters says restrictions are going into effect on Friday.
“No visits from anyone who is obviously ill with flu-like," she said. "No visits from anyone less than 18 years of age, and no visits from anyone that the patient doesn’t identify as a close family contact.”
McMasters coordinates immunization and infectious disease programs for the health department.
“Right now it looks like primarily Influenza A – but at this time of year you can see all kinds," she said. "And we’re starting to see H1N1 that was circulating in 2009, and the good news is that’s covered by the vaccine, so we want to encourage people that it’s not too late to get the vaccine.”
McMasters urges people to do what they can to stay well. “Besides the common sense measures of washing your hands, covering your cough and getting the vaccine, we do encourage those sick to stay home," she said.