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Flu season severe

(Hospital visiting restrictions)….El Centro Regional Medical Center announced the restrictions.

There are also visiting restrictions at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. The restrictions are due to a sever flu season. ECRMC says no one with flu like symptoms will be allowed in the hospital, unless they are a patient. Otherwise, visiting is restricted to one family member per patient and no children under 16, unless they are patients. Anyone coming to the hospital for testing, lab work or any other out patient procedure is reminded to come in alone or with one other person serving as an assistant or driver if needed. They say influenza is a contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system, nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Hospital officials say the number of fatalities caused by this year’s influenza outbreak shot up in California last week and is quickly approaching the entire death toll from the flu for all of 2013. The first Imperial County death as a result of the flu was reported this week. Infectious disease experts blame this season’s severity on the re-emergence of the influenza strain Type A, subtype H1N1, informally known as the swine flu.