Stay away from the hospital! That's a warning one Northern Illinois hospital is urging you to abide by.Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb, now known as Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, has issued an urgent warning to hospital visitors due to the spread of influenza flu.

The warning boils down to: Do NOT visit the hospital.

Flu visitor restrictions are in effect. In a press release issued on Monday, the hospital advises:

Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and Valley West Hospital are implementing flu visitor restrictions to protect the health of patients.

Family and visitors who are experiencing a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, body aches or congestion, even those who have been vaccinated for the flu, should refrain from seeing an inpatient or accompanying a patient to an appointment at an outpatient clinic. While flu season is at its peak, visitors will be limited to two per patient and those under the age of 18 will not be permitted to visit patients in the hospital.

Symptomatic patients who are coming to the hospital for appointments should let their healthcare provider know about symptoms and wear a mask. Masks are available at provider offices, as well flu kiosks located throughout the hospital.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. To help prevent the flu, avoid contact with sick people. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Please visit flu.nm.org for more information.

So, if you are visiting a friend or relative in the hospital and you have flu like symtoms, don't go!

Also for those seeking care, the hospital is warning that due to an increase in the number of patients, expect extended wait times in the Kishwaukee Hospital Emergency Department.

For those experiencing flu-like symptoms, you are being asked to contact your healthcare provider to determine appropriate testing and treatment for flu, before going to the hospital.

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