NORWICH, Conn. (AP) _ The William W. Backus Hospital health system is restricting visitors to those older than 18 due to a spike in flu cases.

The restrictions begin on Friday at all Backus sites in eastern Connecticut. The health system also is asking all visitors regardless of age to not visit if they are coughing or have a sore throat or fever.

The Backus lab reports nine positive flu tests in the past week and 14 overall. The hospital said numerous emergency room patients had flu-like symptoms but were not tested.

Hospitals in Georgia, North Carolina, Wyoming and elsewhere also have restricted visitors in response to a rise in flu cases.

The flu season typically begins in October and continues through May, peaking in late winter or early spring. Flu spreads through coughing and sneezing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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