DEER LODGE, Mont. — Visitation at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge has been cancelled until further notice to avoid spreading influenza from inmates to visitors.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Adrianne Cotton said Thursday that nine inmates have confirmed cases of the flu. She says prison staff are restricting the movements of sick inmates, practicing good sanitation and having inmates wear masks.

Influenza is spread from person to person through direct contact; contact with droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk; or from contaminated surfaces.

Prison officials will advise the public when visitation will resume.

In late March, the prison reduced visitation from four days per week to three due to a staff shortage.

A 28-year-old inmate died on May 10 at a Missoula hospital. Cotton says they have not received an autopsy report on Odyssey Ardene.