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Flu activity remains high in Kane County

Published: Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 5:56 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 9:42 a.m. CDT

Even though emergency rooms across Kane County are not seeing as many flu cases, flu activity remains high.

The Kane County Health Department released data on Friday showing that about 7.47 percent of hospital emergency room visits between Dec. 30 to Jan. 5 were for flu-like illnesses, down from 8.94 percent the previous week.

But health department spokesman Tom Schlueter said flu activity in Kane County remains high.

“Five is the baseline number,” he said. “7.47 [percent] is still higher than what we’ve seen for the last six years. This is early in the season, and the levels have been high.”

Schlueter urged that only people with severe respiratory illness who have trouble breathing should visit a hospital emergency room. He recommended people contact a health professional before going to a emergency room.

“The majority of people suffering from the flu simply need to stay home, rest and let the flu run its course,” Schlueter said.

In response to the widespread flu activity, Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora will initiate new visitor guidelines starting Monday. Presence Mercy officials advise those with flu symptoms not to visit the hospital.

Additional guidelines include:

• Visitors should be 18 years or older.

• Limit of two visitors per patient.

• Visitors with flu symptoms must wear a mask provided by Presence Mercy.

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitizer.

• Cover nose and mouth to contain germs.

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