Springfield hospitals restricting child visitors because of jump in flu cases

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As flu cases climb, Springfield hospitals are again implementing visitor restrictions.

Mercy and CoxHealth Hospital will not allow children 14 and under as visitors to the hospital until further notice. They are asking this for the protection of the patients. Children under the age of 14 tend to have a high rate of flu illness.

For the week of December 17-23, 241 people had lab-confirmed flu in Greene County. That’s up from 84 cases reported during the previous week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 3 steps to fighting flu:

-Take time to get a flu vaccine—even if it proves to be less effective this year, some protection is better than none.
-Take everyday preventive actions like covering coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes or mouth, staying away from sick people and washing your hands often to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses including flu.
-If you do get the flu, or just don’t feel well, stay home to avoid making others sick. This is especially important for populations most at-risk for getting the flu: the very young and the elderly.

A few reminders about getting vaccinated:
-Everyone over the age of 6 months is recommended to be vaccinated.
-Even if you got vaccinated last year, it is important to get vaccinated again this year to protect from changing flu viruses.
-Talk to your doctor about getting your vaccine if you have any health concerns.
-It’s easier than ever to get vaccinated. Flu.gov has an interactive map showing the various locations where vaccine is available. Many locations in Springfield don’t require an appointment.

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