With the flu at or near peak in Simcoe Muskoka, Huntsville hospital takes extra precautions

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On the heels of widespread community influenza activity in North Simcoe Muskoka, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is taking additional steps to reduce the risk of exposure to the flu at the hospitals.

Last week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit declared the region is at or near the peak of influenza activity, and this increased flu activity across North Simcoe Muskoka is expected to last for two to four weeks. This declaration signals health care partners like MAHC to implement additional strategies to further control the spread of influenza.

“I’m proud that nearly 80 per cent of our staff has received their flu shot,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer. “When widespread community flu activity is declared, MAHC requires unimmunized staff to take additional actions to prevent infection, so you may see hospital staff wearing a mask while working, for example.”

Enhanced surveillance for influenza continues, including screening patients for flu-like symptoms both at Emergency Department triage and at Patient Registration. Anyone experiencing a sudden onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and/or headache, must put on a mask.

“It’s also important that our communities understand the role they can play in keeping our patients safe,” adds Bubela. “If you have flu-like symptoms or generally are feeling unwell, it is best that you stay home instead of visiting at the hospital, get plenty of rest and drink lots of clear fluids until you are feeling better. Visitors are reminded to practice good hand hygiene upon entering and exiting a patient room, as well as entering and exiting the building.”

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