CAMBRIDGE -- You may have noticed that more people in our community are coming down with the flu this year than last.

Even though influenza (flu) illness has begun to decline, it is still widespread throughout Ohio and the rest of the country. Additionally, other respiratory illnesses continue to bring patients to local doctor's offices and Southeastern Med.

The flu is easily spread as a result of coughs, sneezes or simply talking. At Southeastern Med, the well-being of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority. That is why we are currently restricting visitors to help prevent the spread of the flu in our hospital and ensure everyone's safety during this very busy flu season.

Anyone under the age of 18 is not permitted in the hospital unless the person is there for treatment. Visitors are limited to a patient's immediate family and support persons with a maximum of two visitors per patient. Anyone who has a respiratory illness or a fever is also not permitted into the hospital unless the person is there for treatment. These restrictions have been in place since Dec. 20.

Aside from visitor restrictions, Southeastern Med is also encouraging all visitors to wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer, located at all facility entrances, elevators and patient rooms, before and after a visit. Masks are also available for visitor protection upon request and at hospital entrances.

In case you forget some of these restrictions, our staff will be giving friendly reminders to keep everyone as healthy as possible. With your cooperation, we can prevent the spread of the flu in our hospital this season.