Flu prompts Bangor hospital to take extra steps to protect patients, staff

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - One of the state's largest hospitals is taking steps to help prevent the spread of flu.

Nebraska is experiencing a high activity level in flu-like illness so far this season.

The Maine CDC says influenza is widespread right now.

Dr. James Jarvis with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor says the season started earlier and is hitting harder than last year.

Right now, there are twice as many cases as there were a year ago.

Starting Tuesday, the hospital will temporarily limit visitors to those who are 12 or older.

If you're sick or have been exposed to someone who's sick, you should stay home.

Only two visitors at a time can see a patient. Others should wait in the lobby or the cafe.

Dr. Jarvis says the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and those around you.

"I know there of been some articles out there that talk about this wasn't a very good match for the flu shot this year. Even if that was the case, it is good enough that it will at least limit the symptoms if you do get the flu, but it will still prevent the case of flu for most individuals."

Other ways to keep yourself safe - wash or sanitize your hands frequently and cough into a tissue or the crook of your arm.

If you're not feeling well, stay home to avoid infecting others.