Influenza is now widespread in Virginia. According to the CDC, the number of cases reported in the last week of December surpassing the “epidemic threshold.” Health District professionals say those who contract the flu are contagious one day before they develop symptoms, and for seven to 10 days afterward. Experts recommend frequent hand washing and urge those who think they have the flu to stay at home. Living and working quarters also should be disinfected frequently. Locally, healthcare facilities are discouraging visits to hospital patients and residents of adult care homes unless absolutely necessary.