Visitors with Flu-like Symptoms Urged to Stay Home

February 20, 2019

Hannibal Regional officials are urging people with flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting loved ones who are in the hospital.

“Although we have not observed an increase of influenza cases coming to the hospital, there has been a sharp increase of influenza cases in the community. To promote the well-being of our patients, team members and volunteers, we request that persons refrain from visiting the hospital if they are exhibiting signs of influenza,” Dr. Pranav Parikh, Chief Medical Officer.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

Fever, chills, feeling feverish

Muscle or body aches



Runny or stuffy nose


Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

People should go to the Emergency Room right away if they get sick and experience any of the following symptoms:


Fast breathing or trouble breathing

Bluish skin color

Not drinking enough fluids

Not waking up or not interacting

Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

Fever with a rash


Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

Sudden dizziness


Severe or persistent vomiting

Adult or Children

Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and worse cough

Influenza spreads by droplets created when people who have the flu cough, sneeze or talk. The droplets can land in the mouth or nose of nearby people, and on surrounding surfaces. Touching surfaces containing the flu virus and then touching the mouth or nose can lead to infection.

Influenza is contagious beginning one day before symptoms start, and up to 5-7 days after symptoms begin. After exposure to the flu virus, symptoms begin in 1-4 days.

To prevent contracting or spreading influenza, get a flu vaccine every year, stay away from people who are sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands frequently.

Antiviral medications are available to treat influenza, so contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you experience symptoms.

The Hannibal Regional Emergency Department and outpatient clinics have disposable face masks and hand sanitizer available for patients.