Flu deaths prompt Marion County hospital limits

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s recent surge in flu-related deaths has prompted Marion County to impose temporary restrictions on who can visit Indianapolis-area hospitals.

The limits announced Friday came as state health officials announced that the number of Indiana influenza deaths this season had jumped to 11, up from three reported a week ago.

One of those deaths was in Marion County.

Under the restrictions starting next week, hospitals in the state’s most populous county won’t permit visitors with influenza-like illnesses, fevers or coughs. People under age 18 also won’t be allowed to visit without special arrangements.

The county’s top health officer, Dr. Virginia A. Caine, says the steps are needed to “help protect patients, visitors and hospital staff from unnecessary exposure to the flu virus.”

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