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home : news : news   May 29, 2016

1/12/2013 2:19:00 AM
Flu hits hard in La Salle County jail

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

OTTAWA — It looks as if the flu has spread to La Salle County Jail, too.
Suspects awaiting trial were brought into La Salle County courtrooms Friday wearing blue surgical masks that were kept on as they conversed with their lawyers and brought before the judges.
The suspects also were escorted by corrections officers wearing clear plastic gloves.
Sheriff Tom Templeton confirmed that his office decided Thursday to activate the disease prevention protocols after “a few individuals” contracted the flu.
The number of sick inmates was not disclosed and there were no apparent instances where cases were continued because a defendant was too sick to be brought in.
As previously reported, the Illinois Valley has been impacted by a strain of influenza that has left sufferers ill for up to two weeks. The La Salle County Health Department reported that the 2012-13 flu season “has started earlier and hit harder” than in previous years.
Influenza symptoms resemble those of the common cold, but often are more long-lasting and intense.
The health department also encouraged all area residents eligible to receive the flu vaccine (6 months of age and up) to get it, noting that the seasonal flu shot proved to be “a good match” for the strain that emerged.
Civilian offices and facilities also have been affected. The La Salle County Nursing Home, for instance, canceled bingo and told volunteers to stay away after reporting resident illnesses.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013
Article comment by: TomCollinsreporter

The headline was justified considering that the affected individuals prompted sweeping preventive measures such as the issuance of surgical masks. The flu is at epidemic stage throughout the Illinois Valley and the state as a whole.

Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013
Article comment by: fosterbw99

Is it just me or does the headline not match the article? Since when does “a few individuals” constitute "hitting hard?" The article continues with "The number of sick inmates was not disclosed and there were no apparent instances where cases were continued because a defendant was too sick to be brought in."
The paper should not needlessly panic the public with sensational headlines for non events.

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