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Hospitals restrict visitors in wake of flu outbreak

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Two area hospital groups are limiting who can visit due to an increasing number of flu cases statewide.

Community Health Network and Franciscan St. Francis Health will begin limiting visitors starting Wednesday at the suggestion of the Marion County Health Department. Those rules will affect all Marion County hospitals, including Community Hospital South on County Line Road and Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis on Emerson Avenue.

Visitors will be limited to immediate family. Visitors younger than 18 who are not seeking medical attention or the parent of a pediatric patient and visitors showing symptoms of the flu will not be allowed inside the hospital. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

An increasing number of cases of H1N1 influenza, known commonly as swine flu, are spreading across the U.S. The visitor restrictions are aimed to help reduce the risk that the virus is transferred among patients, staff and visitors at the hospital.

Franciscan hospitals will provide face masks and hand sanitizer at entrances and encourage everyone in the hospital to wash their hands and cover their mouths when coughing.

Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin is not restricting visitors at this time.

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