Many hospitals in Indiana have implemented visitor restrictions as the result of a severe flu season. Dr. Virginia A. Caine is the director of Marion County Public Health Department. She asked hospitals to only allow immediate family to visit people. People who are under the age of 18 will not be allowed to visit people. Anyone who has flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to visit people at the hospital.
The policy will be implemented on January 8. All hospitals in central Indiana will be required to follow this protocol. There are hospitals that already have this policy in place. Health officials are hoping that this protocol will stop the spread of the flu. According to a report that was released by the Indiana State Department of Health, nine people in Indiana have died from the flu. Eight of those people were over the age of 50.
Long-term care facilities have also experienced a flu outbreak. Thirteen facilities in this state have had a flu outbreak. More people in Marion County are showing up at the emergency room exhibiting flu-like symptoms. During the week of December 16th, 1.8 percent of people who showed up at the emergency room had flu-like symptoms.
That number increased to 2.47 percent the following week. During the week of December 30th, that number increased to 3.56 percent. Nearly three percent of all emergency room visits in Indiana were due to flu-like symptoms. Five percent of outpatient clinic visits were due to flu-like symptoms.
The vast majority of people who have the flu will recover within two weeks and not suffer long-term complications. However, some people will develop pneumonia and other complications. In some cases, the complications can be life-threatening. Sore throat, fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and headaches are some of the signs of the flu.