Cookeville hospital restricts children due to flu

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Cookeville Regional Medical Center is temporarily prohibiting visitors under the age of 16 until further notice due to the early start of the flu season.

The Cookeville Herald-Citizen reports the hospital said that children in this age group are a major source of the spread of the flu and they are also asking people with flu-like symptoms not to visit the hospital for their safety and for the safety of patients. However, siblings will be allowed in the birthing center to visit with family.

The Putnam County Health Department is also offering free flu shots without an appointment. This year, Tennessee has seen the earliest start to the flu season since 2003, and state health officials are encouraging people who are not yet vaccinated to get one soon.

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