For Immediate Release
February 6, 2018
(INDIANAPOLIS) – Flu activity remains high in Marion County and local hospitals continue with temporary restrictions for visitors to help protect patients, staff and other visitors from the flu virus.
The percentage of visits to Marion County emergency departments for influenza-like illness (ILI) during the week of Jan. 29-Feb 3 was 4.5 percent. During last flu season (2016-2017), the percentage of visits to local emergency departments for ILI did not go above 2.3 percent.
While flu season is hard to predict, increased flu activity is likely to last several more weeks and many more cases of influenza are expected.
Temporary visitor restrictions at local hospitals began on Jan. 8 at the request of Marion County Public Health Department director Virginia A. Caine, M.D. As part of a policy from the Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, the restrictions include:
Visitors are encouraged to check a hospital’s website or call in advance to learn more about restrictions at a specific location and any exceptions.
Marion County hospitals participating in the temporary visitor restrictions include those within Community Health Network; Franciscan Health Indianapolis; St. Vincent; and Indiana University Health, including Riley Hospital for Children; as well Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Richard L. Roudebush V.A. Medical Center.
Dr. Caine urges everyone age 6 months and older to get a flu shot – it’s not too late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. To learn how to get a low-cost flu shot from the Marion County Public Health Department, call 317-221-2122 or visit MarionHealth.org.
Other preventable actions regarding flu include:
The Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety is comprised of chief executive, medical, nursing, quality, safety, and pharmacy officers from six Indianapolis health systems. In addition, there is participation by entities such as Eli Lilly, Indiana and Purdue Universities, Butler University, the Regenstrief Institute, Inc., Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana State Department of Health, and the Marion County Public Health Department. The coalition is a non-profit public charity organization.
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Media/Public Information Coordinator
317-221-2316 (o) │ 317-525-7450 (c)