Spike in flu cases prompts Duke Hospitals to restrict visitors

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Duke Hospitals are restricting visitation after a flu outbreak (WTVD)

The number of flu cases across the Triangle is on the rise, forcing Duke University Health Systems to restrict certain visitors at its hospitals.

The restriction went into effect at noon Friday.

Patients are now allowed only two adult visitors at a time. Anyone under 18 will need prior approval and if you have a fever, cough, or other flu-like symptoms you're asked to stay home.

Doctors have been tracking a spike in flu cases for the last 3 weeks.

There have now been 22 flu-related deaths in North Carolina since the beginning of flu season in October.

"The continued increase in the number of influenza cases is just exponential and we need to continue to help protect our patients as well because those patients who are already sick are the ones who are at the highest risk for having any complication from influenza," said Dr. Victoria Dorr with Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Dr. Dorr said it's important to wash your hands frequently as droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze could land on surfaces and spread by touch.

Dorr said it isn't too late to get your flu shot.

The visitation restrictions at Duke hospitals are temporary and will be reviewed as the state's flu outbreak subsides.

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