LEE COUNTY, Fla. --- A rise in flu cases throughout Lee County has prompted Lee Health to ban children 12 and younger from visiting its health centers.
Lee Health, which operates about 95 percent of the hospital beds in Lee County, made the announcement on Tuesday.
According to an spokesperson, younger children have less developed immune systems which makes their bodies easy targets.
"The benefit in restriction children is that they're immune systems are not fully developed," said Dr. Mary Beth Saunders. "And they maybe more susceptible of the serious complications of influenza. Also children don't have the social awareness in covering their cough."
Lee Health, Southwest Florida's largest hospital operator, has had similar restrictions in the past.
This policy change applies to Lee Memorial Hospital, Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and The Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
The hospital administration says this restriction will be in place until further notice.