In the midst of a rampant flu season, Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck has placed restrictions on visitors to protect patients and employees from respiratory illnesses.

The restrictions at Sanford Medical Center start today. Restrictions will make it so visitors must be immediate family members and can only visit patients over the age of 12 if the patient does not show signs of respiratory illness.

These restrictions come as influenza has become widespread throughout North Dakota. Citizens are advised to vaccinate, wash hands and sanitize as much as possible throughout the day, and stay home if ill.

Flu vaccinations are available at local health care clinics.