According to new reports by the CDC, flu cases are on the rise. New York City and 19 states have reported high levels of flu activity, spurring some hospitals to restrict visitor access for sick individuals.
So far, there have been 1,000 confirmed cases of flu-related hospitalizations, according to Web MD.
But that’s not even the worst of it. The CDC also reports that 13 children have died as a result of the flu since Dec. 29 alone.
The rising number of potentially fatal flu cases has caused concern among hospitals in these 19 states. Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and more have begun to impose restrictions on visitor access in an effort to stop the flu from spreading.
For the already ill patients at the hospital, a sudden case of the flu might end in disaster.
“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,” said Jennifer Burrows, the chief nursing officer for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon.
Hospitals are asking that visitors who display any cold or flu symptoms stay away until the end of the flu season, which can be as late as February in some areas. The CDC claims that February has been the most common month for the peak of flu season for the past 36 years. Other hospitals are preventing anyone under the age of 18 from visiting hospital patients.
Should you suffer from any flu or cold symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor or nearest urgent care location. Nearly 97% of patients who seek the help from immediate clinics are able to receive the help they needed while only 3% were escorted to emergency services.
Some hospitals are combating flu season with additional fervor. For example, Scottsdale hospitals in Arizona have even begun to hand out surgical masks to prevent the bacteria from coughs and sneezes.
Serious complications caused by the flu include pneumonia, heart inflammation, and organ failure, but those who have compromised immune systems are at even greater risks.
Luckily, it’s never too late to receive your annual flu shot. While you might experience uncomfortable symptoms from the medicine, it’s far better than suffering the potentially fatal damage that influenza can cause.