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Flu outbreaks on the rise in Quinte region

The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has noted an increase in respiratory outbreaks – including Influenza A – in the region.

Bill Sherlock, Health Protection Department program manager confirms there are seven respiratory outbreaks in long term care homes and retirement homes in the Hastings Prince Edward area. Five of the seven outbreaks are confirmed Influenza A (H3 strain).

“In addition to these outbreaks, there have been 12 influenza A cases confirmed in the community. There are also several other respiratory viruses circulating in the region, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza, Rhinovirus, and Corona Virus,” he said. “It is likely that influenza and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the next two to three months.”

He added that the number of patients being seen in emergency departments at Quinte Health Care hospitals has risen by 32 per cent – to 372 visits per day from 290.

“The increase is a result of patients seeking health care for flu-like symptoms. This can mean longer wait times,” he said. “We ask that individuals not come to the hospital to visit patients if they have any cold or flu-like symptoms including cough, sore throat, headache or fever.”

While patients with severe flu symptoms should go to the emergency room, patients with mild symptoms are being asked to stay home and rest, and patients with moderate symptoms are recommended to contact their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner or walk-in clinic).

To help decide when to attend the emergency department, the public is asked to use the following infographic.

WHEN-TO-GO-TO-THE-ER-FINAL

Keep these tips in mind:
Wash your hands frequently
Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand
Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands
Clean objects and surfaces that a lot of people touch, such as: doorknobs, phones and television remotes
Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong
Get plenty of rest or sleep

If you do get sick, stay home and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms are gone.

Filed Under: Local News

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