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GHS requests visitors under 18 not visit due to influenza outbreak

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The Greenville Health System is asking for a voluntary request banning children under 18-years-old from visiting certain areas of the campus, WYFF4 reported January 10.

The request came today after accessing the spread of influenza, which is the worst the Greenville area has seen in the last six years. GHS is asking no one under the age of 18 to visit its Children's Hospital, the Women's Hospital or the Women's Center on the Greer and Laurens medical campuses.

Cases of influenza have been up since December. Here are some statistics on how cases have multiplied in the past month

*December 8 had 66 positive cases
*December 15 had 181 positive cases
*December 22 had 293 positive cases

More than 1,000 people have tested positive since October, 2013, with 80 being admitted to the GHS hospitals.

To complicate matters, Medline Plus reported on January 8 that manufacturing problems have created a shortage of the liquid form of Tamiflu. The oral suspension is designed for children who are not yet old enough to swallow the drug in capsule form.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the drug's maker, Genentech, has fallen behind in the production of the liquid form. No shortages have been reported yet on Tamiflu capsules. An oral suspension can also be made from the capsule form if the need arises.

Right now limiting visitors to the above mentioned facilities is a precaution. In a report today by NBC News, 10 children have died nationwide from influenza, with 2600 being admitted to hospitals.

The H1N1 strain going around this season is affecting more young people and people of middle age. Still, everyone should be aware that any age can contract the flu, and exposure to any place the flu can be transmitted should be avoided if at all possible.

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