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Influenza is here! We can all play a role in stopping the spread of the flu!

To learn more about what to expect when you have the flu, and when to seek medical care –  watch this informative 3.5-minute video with local family physician Dr. Robert Webster.   

News Release 

INFLUENZA IS HERE! 

WE CAN ALL PLAY A ROLE IN STOPPING THE SPREAD OF THE FLU IN OUR COMMUNITY
 
Belleville, January 10, 2017 – The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has noted an increase in respiratory outbreaks in the region.  There are now a total of 7 respiratory outbreaks in Long Term Care Homes and Retirement Home (LTCH/RH) in Hastings Prince Edward area.  Five out of the seven outbreaks are confirmed Influenza A (H3 strain).    
 
In addition to the outbreaks in LTCH/RHs, 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.    It is likely that influenza and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the next two to three months.
 
The number of patients being seen in the Emergency Departments at Quinte Health Care hospitals has risen by 32% - from 290 visits per day to 372.  The increase is a result of patients seeking health care for flu-like symptoms.  This can mean longer wait times.  
 
While patients with severe flu symptoms should go to the emergency room, we ask that patients with mild symptoms stay home and rest, and patients with moderate symptoms contact their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner or walk-in clinic).  In order to help decide when to attend the ER, the public is asked to use the following infographic.   
 
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 and/or fever.  
 
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health would like to remind the public of the key flu messages:
 
•    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.  Influenza vaccine is available at public health offices, pharmacies and health care providers.  Although the best the time to receive the influenza vaccine is in October, November, December before the peak of influenza season.  

Media Inquiries: 
 
Catherine Walker
Manager, Communications & Community Relations
Quinte Health Care
(613) 969-7400 ext. 2689
cwalker@qhc.on.ca  
 
Bill Sherlock 
Program Manager, 
Health Protection Department
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 
(613) 966-5513 ext.245
BSherlock@hpeph.ca