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Local hospitals restrict visitors to prevent spread of flu

Tuesday - 1/15/2013, 7:05am  ET

Local schools and health departments take flu precautions

WTOP's Kristi King reports

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Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Some hospitals across the Washington region are restricting visitors to help prevent the spread of the flu.

At least seven of the 46 acute care hospitals in Maryland and Northern Virginia's biggest, Inova, are telling people who may have flu symptoms, or even the sniffles, to refrain from visiting family or friends in the hospital.

"They can not be presenting with any flu like symptoms, fevers, chills, etc.," says Dr. Richard Alcorta, the state EMS medical director for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIMS).

In Virginia, Inova is prohibiting anyone under 18 from visiting and limiting visits to two people per patient.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu has now reached epidemic proportions and is widespread in 47 states, including Virginia and Maryland.

The District does not make that "widespread" list.

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