CHICAGO (WLS) -- Officials at the Centers for Disease Control Tuesday said 20 children across the country have died from the flu this winter. Seven died last week.
In Illinois, hospitals are taking extra precautions to ensure more people don't get sick.
"We're limiting visitors so that we try to prevent flu from going out into community," said Dr. Anthony Marinelli, a pulmonologist.
Visitors are advised to cover up with a mask and hand sanitizer is everywhere.
Every hospital employee must have a flu shot - and show for it.
"Compared to this date last year we're seeing in some states more than twice as many flu victims. One of the things we're seeing patients are admitted more and they seem to be on life support systems more than in the past," Marinelli said.
West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park has admitted about 100 flu patients for treatment in December.
"We're on a pace to beat that at this small hospital in January," Marinelli said.
The sickness is straining resources. The hallways of the hospital are filled with warning signs trying to keep out the contagious virus.
Doctors said anyone who has not gotten a flu shot should get one right away.