The continuing swine flu outbreak has prompted Tuomey Regional Medical Center in Sumter to begin limiting visitation starting Monday.
No visitors younger than 18 will be allowed in any patient care area above the first floor of the hospital, and adults with flulike symptoms are asked not to visit patients.
Several hospitals in the Greenville and Charleston areas already have similar policies. The other major hospitals in the Midlands have asked families to limit visitation by anyone who appears to be sick, but they haven't banned visits by children.
Through last week, 374 people have been hospitalized with swine flu, and the H1N1 virus has been listed as a cause in 11 deaths in the state since Sept. 1. The rate of infection has remained high for this time of year, with 102 new hospitalizations in the most recent recorded week, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
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Swine flu vaccines, both nasal mist and injectable, began arriving in the state last week. People seeking vaccinations should check with their local health provider to find out when vaccines might be available. Public sites will be listed online at flu.gov as soon as vaccines are available.