DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – With a rise in Decatur flu numbers, HSHS leaders are reminding people to get flu shots.

HSHS facilities in Decatur saw 177 cases of the flu in February of 2019. Illinois as a state has seen a high number of influenza-like cases reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and HSHS leaders say they’ve mostly seen three strains: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B.

“Although spring is right around the corner, flu season is not over,” said HSHS Medical Group’s Dr. Samir Patel. “You must continue to take precautions to protect yourself from the flu. Even though it is March, it is never too late to receive a flu shot if you have not already received one this season.”

Flu vaccines are important when the flu is spreading. HSHS is reminding the public that vaccines don’t just protect the person who takes it. They also can prevent people who are vulnerable to serious illnesses from picking it up. Vulnerable people tend to include infants, young children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.

HSHS is also reminding people of hospital visitor guidelines in order to ensure safety.

“As a reminder, please do not visit the hospital if you have a cold or any flu-like symptoms including fever or chills, sore throat, body or muscle aches, headache, cough or runny nose,” an HSHS press release said. “The hospital also discourages visitors younger than 18 and recommends that only two people should visit a patient at any one time. If you do visit a patient, soap and hand sanitizers should be used when entering and leaving a patient’s room.”

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