CHICAGO (CBS) — Flu season is upon us and has become widespread in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Heath recommends hospitals to place temporary visitor-restriction polices that restrict children under 18 from visiting. WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

Doctors at Loyola University Medical Center said this flu season “is definitely worse than last year.”

Loyola’s Pediatric Infection Disease Specialist, Dr. Nadia Qureshi said she and her colleagues are seeing a lot of cases of the flu in both children and adults.

“I have seen a tremendous increase in terms of patients coming in, just in the last two to three weeks,” Dr. Qureshi said.

Nationwide, she said, compared to last year there are almost seven times more cases of the flu that have required hospitalization.

The part of the country hit hardest is the Northeast.

Dr. Qureshi said it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Flu season lasts until May.