Allen County Health Department officials are asking visitors to area healthcare facilities to take precautions due to increased flu activity.
The state influenza report shows widespread activity for influenza-like illness, and a total of 22 deaths reported so far this flu season, which began in October.
Health Commissioner Dr. Deb McMahan advised healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes and hospitals, to help slow the spread of influenza, and influenza-like illness.
These precautions include wearing a mask if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms when you are in a public area such as a waiting room, and to get your flu vaccine.
Additional precautions include:
No visitors under the age of 18 and no visitors of any age with flu-like symptoms should be allowed to visit patients.
Visitors should be limited to two essential adults (at least 18-years-old) per patient – essential adults could include designated family members, spouse/domestic partner or spiritual counselors.
Anyone not allergic to the flu vaccine should be vaccinated.
The more common strains of the virus now being reported are influenza A/H1N1 and influenza B/Victoria, which seem to be covered well by this season’s vaccine, according to Dr. McMahan.
Influenza can be spread during the incubation period, which is after exposure but with no symptoms present.
Three outbreaks have been reported at long-term care facilities, according to state data.