EDISON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Eight hospitals in New Jersey are no longer allowing visitors under the age of 12 amid a widespread outbreak of the flu.
So far, nearly 2,000 people in New Jersey have gotten the flu this season and two children have died.
In response, Hackensack Meridian Health is limiting visits at eight of its hospitals including Pascack Valley, Palisades Medical Center and Raritan Valley Hospitals.
Visitors under 12 will not be allowed in.
Anyone over 12 who has a fever or cough also will not be allowed in.
"To protect the patients who don't have the flu, we don't want them to get sick because they're more likely to have complications if they're in the hospital," Dr. Jerry Zuckerman, Vice President of Infection Prevention and Control at Hackensack Meridian Health, said.
The New Jersey Department of Health is encouraging people to take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu, including covering any coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, washing their hands frequently, staying home if they are sick and getting a flu shot.
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8 New Jersey hospitals not allowing young visitors amid flu outbreak
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