Protecting patients from the flu

Published On: Jan 10 2013 05:16:37 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 10 2013 05:16:00 AM CST

The national flu outbreak is spreading.

At least 44 states are now dealing with outbreaks of the illness.

To protect people in our area from the flu, health experts at Gundersen Lutheran say if you aren't feeling well, don't visit.

That's to keep from making patients' recovery times more difficult, and also from getting staff sick.

"It's best if you have an acute onset of an illness, whether it's gastrointestinal illness, or an upper respiratory or viral illness in those early stages, to not put the vulnerable people who are in the hospital of getting that infection," says Bridget Pfaff with Infection Control at Gundersen Lutheran.

Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse says it has no visitor restrictions right now  but also recommends staying home if you aren't feeling well.

Masks are available for patients with flu-like symptoms.