BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — With 455 cases of influenza statewide, some North Dakota hospitals are restricting visitors.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that nearly 18 percent of the flu cases are in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

Due to the high volume of flu cases Sanford Medical Center and CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck began restricting its visitors on Tuesday.

Bismarck-Burleigh Health Director Renae Moch is urging local residents to disinfect surfaces they frequently touch at home, work and school. He advises to get a flu shot, wash hands with soap and water frequently and stay home when sick.

According to Moch, a possible reason for the spread of the virus in the area could be that influenza survives better in cold and drier climates.

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