Bozeman hospital sets restrictions as flu cases increase


    An uptick in flu cases is forcing the Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital to restrict people with flu symptoms and children under the age of 12 from visiting patients who are hospitalized. (Photo by NBC Montana.)<p>{/p}

    An uptick in flu cases is forcing the Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital to restrict people with flu symptoms and children under the age of 12 from visiting patients who are hospitalized.

    Hospital officials said the restrictions only affect areas in the hospital occupied by inpatients. Visitors are still allowed in places like the ER and registration.

    “Those patients are already in the hospital being cared for,” said Michelle Kirsch with Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. “They are likely already sick and are at high risk for getting something else.”

    Kirsch added that the restrictions will likely be in place for a few months, and they will continue to monitor the numbers every week.

    On Friday the Gallatin County Health Department reported 121 cases of the flu were confirmed last week, spiking up from 50-plus cases the week before.

    Statewide, 1,378 were reported last week. 4,698 cases have been confirmed this season. There have been five reported deaths; one of those was a child.

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