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Lumberton hospital restricts visitors due to flu

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LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — A Lumberton hospital is imposing restrictions on visitors effective immediately because of an increase in reported cases of influenza.

Southeastern Regional Medical Center says no one under the age of 18 is permitted in patient-care areas or in areas above the first floor. Officials also say only two immediate family members will be allowed per visit, except in the emergency department, where visitation is limited to one relative.

According to the hospital, 107 cases of flu have been identified in December. That compares with 31 cases in the hospital during all of November.

Dr. Obiefuna Okoye, the center’s infection control committee chairman, said officials are advising people to call their hospitalized family members rather than visit to limit the threat of exposure.