Effective today, visitors at HaysMed younger than 12 years will be restricted due to an increase in influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

Visitors who have symptoms of influenza (fever, body aches, headache, severe weakness, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose) also will not be allowed on patient floors.

This year's flu season is one of the worst on recent records and HaysMed is taking these precautions in order to limit the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses, according to a statement from hospital officials. Signs noting the restrictions are posted at the main entrances to alert visitors not to visit if they have symptoms of Influenza, respiratory illness, or are 12 years of age or younger.

The flu can cause serious complications and even death, especially in the very young, the elderly, and those with existing medical conditions. These measures are being taken in an effort to protect patients, families and hospital staff.

HaysMed officials also are continuing to encourage residents to get a flu shot if they have not done so. HaysMed offers flu vaccines through the end of March to anyone 6 months of age and older.