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The growing number of flu-related deaths in Indiana is pushing some hospitals to take extra precautions.
A report released last week by the Indiana State Department of Health says there’s a 43 percent increase in the number of positive flu specimen tests compared to this time last year.
The department says nine Hoosiers have died from the virus so far this flu season. Officials say the flu is disproportionately affecting older generations; eight of the deaths have been people over age 50.
Jessica Hunter is a clinical educator for Monroe Hospital. She says increased flu activity is causing the hospital to restrict visitors.
“We are asking visitors to not come to the hospital if they have any flu like symptoms and then not to return to visit people who are healthy within 24 hours until symptoms have passed,” Hunter says.
She says the hospital is also requiring flu shots of all employees and making visitors wash hands before and after visits.
Hunter says they can’t say when the extra restrictions will end. She says it will be depend on the state’s weekly influenza reports.