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H1N1 flu cases rising in Chicago area

Flu cases are on the rise in the Chicago area, and on Monday night, some hospitals had precautions in place to help prevent virus from spreading.
January 13, 2014 9:02:44 PM PST
Flu cases are on the rise in the Chicago area, and on Monday night, some hospitals had precautions in place to help prevent virus from spreading.

Some would-be visitors to local hospitals may be asked to not visit. All Advocate hospitals are banning visitors with flu-like symptoms, including Advocate Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington, which began a ban on visitors with flu-like symptoms on Friday.

"We don't know if the flu season is peaking right now, it could be peaking or it's possible that it could get worse before it gets better. That's why we are very cautious and need to be very vigilant," said Dr. Charlotte Ellenbogan.

Niki Mehrotra's mother is recovering from surgery at the hospital. Catching the flu could be catastrophic for patients who are already fragile.

"Please stay home, just for the sake of people like my mom and others who are recovering," said Mehrotra.

Health officials are again reminding everyone to get a flu shot and to take other precautions to avoid getting sick.

Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood says they have seen more cases recently. It's not clear whether this is the height of the flu season, or if things will get worse. Doctors, nurses and technicians have treated 147 cases of flu, with just 31 of those in the last week. The majority of them are the H1N1 virus. This specific strain of H1N1 is a gastrointes

"This is the season. We're coming off the holidays, coming off the cold weather last week. People were staying inside, now as a result, we might be starting to see an increase, or an uptick, in those presenting with flu symptoms," said Dr. Mark Cichon, Loyola University Medical Center.

If you haven't gotten your flu shot, health officials say it isn't too late. Health officials also say if you're not feeling well, the best thing to do is stay home from work or school, and wash your hands several times a day.

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