Ottawa area hospitals take measures to protect against winter viruses

Dec 14th, 2017 | By | Category: Healthy Living

‘Tis the season for influenza and gastroenteritis (stomach flu).  We have been told that there will be higher levels of virus activity this season, and  a joint message from the Ottawa area hospitals: Bruyère Continuing Care, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Hôpital Montfort, The Ottawa Hospital, The Royal Mental Health Care and Queensway Carleton Hospital asks for the community’s support in reducing the spread of infection.

Hospital patients are at greater risk for infection as their bodies are already working hard to recover from their illness or injury.  When germs are brought into the hospital from well-meaning family or visitors, it puts all hospital patients at risk.

To protect vulnerable patients, please:

• Do not visit any patient if you have: a runny nose, cough, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

• Limit the number of people who accompany patients to the Emergency department and outpatient clinics. (Check hospital websites as visitor policies vary).

• Clean your hands when you arrive and leave the hospital and the patient’s room.

These precautions are practical but important given this is expected to be a tough viral year and the number of hospitalizations for influenza are already higher than expected. The influenza season has officially started in Ottawa, with the number of laboratory-confirmed cases increasing rapidly. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) expects that the influenza season will peak early this year likely around the end of December or beginning of January.

Hospitals area also stepping up their infection prevention and control and surveillance practices, to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

The hospitals would like to thank everyone for their support in keeping our community healthy this viral season, and reminds people that frequent hand washing and the flu shot are your best defenses.

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