HELENA – On Monday, St. Peter’s Health implemented flu restrictions at their facilities to help prevent the spread of the virus in the community.
On Monday January 15, anyone showing flu symptoms, or under the age of 12 years will have visitor limitations at St. Peter’s.
Depending on the situation visitors may be polity asked to leave or have to wear a mask while there.
St. Peter’s says that they need to take these precautions since they have patients that could die from influenza such as newborns, hospice care patients and cancer patients who may have weakened immune systems.
St. Peter’s will have more information about the limitations on their website when they go into effect.
During this flu season there have already been 130 confirmed influenza cases in the Helena area, according to Lewis and Clark Public Health.
Montana is current seeing widespread influenza activity and the CDC is also warning the public about the potential severity this flu season poses.
St. Peter’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shelly Harkins says that people should take any precaution they can to prevent the spread of the flu.
“We always have to remember that the Flu, although very common and we see it every year, is the most deadly virus,” says Dr. Harkins.
In the 2016-2017 flu season there were 56 deaths attributed to influenza in Montana.
Dr. Harkins says covering your mouth when you cough with the inner-side of your elbow and washing your hands are good ways to prevent spreading the virus.
It’s also never too late in the season to get a flu shot.