The Health Department says the flu is circulating at a "high level" in Monroe County, more than doubling in the last week. Starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, URMC is implementing visitor restrictions at Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Wilmot Cancer Center.

The Health Department says the flu is circulating at a "high level" in Monroe County, more than doubling in the last week.

As of Dec. 23, there have been 365 laboratory confirmed cases of flu in Monroe County, with 109 requiring hospitalization. The actual number is likely much higher as physicians sometimes diagnose based upon symptoms, and do not confirm it with a laboratory test.

Starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, URMC is implementing visitor restrictions at Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Wilmot Cancer Center. The following visitor restrictions will go into place:

A maximum of two visitors plus one care giver in a patient’s room at any time.

No visitors under the age of 14.

People with flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, body aches) are asked not to visit hospitalized patients until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

“While flu has been around for a month or so, it is circulating at a very high level at this time, so Monroe County residents should be particularly cautious now. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, stay home from work or school if sick, and be sure to cover your cough to prevent spreading germs to family and friends,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Health Commissioner.

The flu typically begins to show up in October and can last through May, often peaking in January or February. County officials say it is too soon to tell if this year's flu season will be worse than last year's.

Most major pharmacies and physician practices still have the flu vaccine, so if it is possible to get yourself vaccinated, health care professionals recommend you do so.