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The Peoria City/County Health Department is urging people who feel sick or have a fever to stay home. Peoria Health Department Officials say there is widespread flu activity in the Peoria Region. A statement from the agency says local hospital emergency departments and the emergency 911 system are responding to a higher number of people seeking care for flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, muscle and body aches, headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.

State records show that the flu season in Illinois appears to be peaking early this year.

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Area health providers are urging residents to limit hospital visits, due to heightened flu activity.

Peoria City/County Health Department

Flu season is kicking into high gear, and area hospitals providers are responding with a public request to limit patient visits. This helps the minimize the chance of spreading the virus.

The request comes in response to health department data that shows increased cases of flu in the region. The health department shows since 237 people in the region tested positive for the virus, between Oct. 31 and Dec. 24th.

The Peoria City/County Health Department says those who are not feeling well or have had flu-like symptoms in the past week should not visit hospitalized patients. 

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Area hospitals are asking people to voluntarily limit their hospital visits.

The request is based on data from the Peoria City/County Health Department that indicates more flu activity throughout the region. The guidance for limiting hospital visits includes those who are not feeling well or have experienced flu-like symptoms in the last seven days.

Hospital visitors should also be at least 18 years old. The idea is to limit patient exposure to children who have a higher risk for transmitting viral infections.

Health officials say reports of influenza are down this winter in Illinois compared with recent years.  Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that that from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, there were 49 flu-related intensive care unit admissions and two outbreaks. 

Area hospitals requesting visit limits

Jan 12, 2015

Area hospitals are asking people to limit visits during the heightened part of the flu season.  

Area hospitals asking to limit visits amid flu season

Jan 24, 2014

Peoria’s hospitals are asking people to limit visits during the heightened part of the flu season.  OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and UnityPoint Health Methodist-Proctor say the request is voluntary, but may change if necessary to reflect community health concerns.  Both hospitals request that anyone under 18 refrain from visiting to limit exposure to children. They also ask people to avoid visiting if they feel sick, to cough into a tissue and wash hands frequently. 

Flu activity in Illinois is considered widespread.  That means it's appeared in more than half of the state. So far, the Illinois Public Health Department says there have been more than one hundred twenty intensive care hospitalizations and six flu-related deaths this season. Spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the numbers are lower than at this time last year. But more cases are showing up each day:

Peoria health officials: get vaccine before flu peak

Dec 9, 2013

The Peoria City/County Health Department is urging residents to get a flu shot before next month.  Administrator Greg Chance says even though flu activity is low in the Peoria-area, the flu season often peaks in January.  

Young girl dies from flu in McLean County

Feb 18, 2013

Influenza has killed an eight year old girl in McLean County. This is only the second child death related to flu in the state this season. Kera Simon is a spokeswoman for the McLean County Health Department: