With three major strains of influenza currently putting a strain on public health facilities in Chicago and statewide, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health) has requested that individuals with symptoms of the illness refrain from visiting the hospital.
The principal flu strain impacting the Chicago area is influenza H3N2, with small amount of H1N1 and influenza B, a UI Health release said, adding that potentially ill visitors exhibiting flu symptoms will be asked to wait until their condition improves.
Typical manifestations of flu include, but are not limited to, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body or muscular aches, headaches and fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
UI Health implemented specific restrictions for visiting hospitalized patients by limiting the number of visitors to two at a time and giving preference to adults over 18; encouraging those experiencing respiratory illness to cancel their visit or wear a mask in the hospital; and limiting visits to seriously ill patients to only those persons deemed vital to the patient’s emotional welfare and care.
Additionally, health care practitioners encourage washing hands often and asking others to cover their coughs or sneezes to reduce the spread of flu.