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Friday, December 14, 2018

Influenza has arrived in the Quinte region

Influenza has arrived in the Quinte region, with four confirmed cases of
Influenza being reported at a Belleville area retirement home. Quinte Health
Care (QHC) has also confirmed four cases of Influenza in patients admitted to
hospital.

Residents
of all ages are advised to take precautions to reduce the spread of Influenza,
which typically peaks during the holiday season. Influenza is spread by
coughing and sneezing small droplets. The influenza virus is able to live on
hard surfaces for up to 48 hours. 

Individuals
are encouraged to take the following steps to reduce the spread of Influenza:
  • Get the flu shot. Since it takes two weeks for the Influenza
    vaccine to take effect, it is very important to get your Influenza vaccine as
    soon as possible.  Influenza vaccine is
    available at public health offices, pharmacies and through primary health care
    providers.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, TV
    remotes.
  • 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.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and QHC are advising the public to stay
home if they do develop mild symptoms of Influenza.  Common Influenza symptoms include fever,
cough, muscle aches and pain, chills, fatigue (tiredness), loss of appetite,
sore throat, runny or stuffy nose.

The Emergency Departments at QHC hospitals typically experience an increase in
visits and longer wait times over the holiday season as a result of patients
seeking health care for flu-like symptoms.

While patients with severe flu symptoms, such as difficulty
breathing or shortness of breath (when doing very little or resting), should
go to the emergency room, we ask that patients experiencing mild flu-like
symptoms stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Patients with moderate symptoms may wish to contact their primary care provider (family physician, nurse practitioner or
walk-in clinic. A schedule of walk-in clinic hours during the holiday season
will be available at www.qhc.on.ca.)   Most people recover from the flu in 7 to 10
days.  In order to prevent spreading Influenza, avoid close contact with other people until your symptoms subside. 

The following infographic is available to the public to help decide if a visit to the ER is
necessary.  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.  Please limit the number of people accompanying patients to the hospital.

(news release by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, December 13, 2018)
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