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Flu alert causes partial visitor restrictions

The North Bay General Hospital has issued a partial visitor restriction due to a flu alert.
The North Bay General Hospital has issued a partial visitor restriction due to a flu alert. Further information is included in the following news release from the hospital:

North Bay General Hospital has issued its first flu alert of 2004/2005 and is restricting visitors to the Rehabilitation Unit (McLaren Site 300 West).

“We have two confirmed cases of influenza A on this unit and we are restricting visitors and family caregivers until further notice,” says Tiziana Silveri, Vice President Surgery and Maternal/Child Care Centres.

“Patients on this unit are extremely vulnerable to getting the flu and we need to ensure that both our patients and our staff are protected from further exposure,” she added.

Visitors and caregivers are still allowed to visit on other units at this time, but are reminded to stay away from the hospital if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.

“We want visitors to think about their friend or family member in the hospital and how their condition might worsen if they were to get the flu,” said Silveri.

Visitors are reminded to wash their hands with the alcohol rinse provided in each lobby before entering and leaving the facility.

The hospital is monitoring the situation on a continuous basis and will issue a Full Visitor Restriction in the future should the flu spread to other areas of the hospital.

The public is reminded that influenza is easily transmitted and can greatly affect patients and the staff providing care.

“This is an effort to protect patients and staff from what could be serious complications from the flu. So far, we have only seen a few cases at the hospital and have those areas under control, and we are aware that there are several other cases of influenza in the community. Since influenza is so easily transmitted there is a greater chance of our patients and staff becoming ill if someone who has symptoms chooses to visit,” says Silveri.

Symptoms of influenza include: fever, sore throat, chest congestion, nausea and/or vomiting, muscle aches and pain. Transmission is by respiratory droplets—a sneeze and direct or indirect contact from contaminated hands and surfaces. Adults are infectious in three to five days from the onset, and children are infectious up to seven days from onset.