New restrictions at Martinsville Memorial in effort to combat spike in flu cases

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - Memorial Hospital in Martinsville is taking extra precautions following a large spike in flu cases.

In the past three weeks, the number of flu cases at the hospital has nearly equaled the number of flu cases at the hospital in all of 2016.

On Friday morning, the hospital posted signs alerting people of new restrictions.

The biggest change is that children under 14 are no longer allowed to visit unless they have an appointment or need to go to the ER.

Debra Graem, the hospital's infection preventionist and patient safety officer, said this is the first time since 2014 that the hospital has had to do this.

"We had a short epidemic curve that year and it didn't last long at all. This year, it may last longer or it may not. There have been school closings in the area and things that have made this one seem a little bit worse," explained Graem.

She said the restrictions will be lifted as soon as the epidemic subsides.

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