Five long-term care home hard hit by influenza
“Residents of long-term care homes, young children and seniors, and people with chronic diseases are all at high risk of influenza-related complications,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health.
“To date, we have seven respiratory outbreaks in long-term care homes across the district — five or which are confirmed to be caused by influenza. Limiting visits to long-term care homes, getting vaccinated and staying home when sick are all important ways to protect yourself and the vulnerable people around you.”
It is strongly recommended that anyone visiting a long-term care home use extreme caution and only visit if absolutely necessary. Anyone experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms is asked to defer their visit until they are well.
The health unit is encouraging all residents, those working with children and seniors, and health-care workers to protect themselves and others from the influenza virus by getting the flu shot.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee (PIDAC), among others, all strongly recommend that health-care providers get immunized annually against the flu.
“All health-care workers want to protect the people they care for,” said Sutcliffe. “And immunization against the flu is a key way to do this.”
Although everyone is at risk of getting the flu, seniors, young children and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of experiencing serious complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections and even death.
Symptoms of influenza may include fever, runny eyes, headache, sore throat, extreme weakness, chills, cough, stuffy nose, muscle aches, and fatigue.
In addition to getting the flu shot, all residents are reminded of the following steps to take to protect themselves and others from illness:
-Wash your hands often and especially before eating using liquid soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
-Cough into a tissue or your sleeve and throw away used tissues immediately
-Stay home if you are ill
Free flu shots continue to be available by appointment at all SDHU locations, with drop-in services possible at the main Sudbury office at 1300 Paris Street. The free flu shot is also available at participating pharmacies, walk-in clinics, community health centres, and your health care provider.