Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (News Bulletin file)

Hospital and care residence in Nanaimo see flu outbreaks

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Influenza A outbreak confined to rehabilitation unit

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence have seen flu outbreaks, says Vancouver Island Health Authority.

According to the health authority’s website, the Influenza A outbreaks began Wednesday at the hospital, confined to rehabilitation unit, and March 13 at the Chartwell residence on Eleventh Street, where it has been declared a “facility wide outbreak.”

Shannon Marshall, Island Health spokeswoman, confirmed the outbreak at the hospital, but didn’t have information on how widespread it is.

“Whenever we declare an outbreak at any of our sites, and in the days leading up to that, we will implement very stringent infection prevention and control protocols and so that has been done at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital,” Marshall said to the News Bulletin.

Chartwell care residence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

RELATED: Flu outbreak at Cowichan hospital one of several on Island

Symptoms can include muscle pain, fever, headache, extreme tiredness, runny nose, sore throat and cough, according to the B.C. Ministry of Health, and can begin an average of two days after virus exposure. Symptoms can last seven to 10 days and cough can remain up to two weeks longer, it said.

“I think what’s really important for people to understand is that influenza is a serious respiratory illness and it affects certain segments of the population much more significantly than others, so that’s why we encourage people who have compromised immune systems to get their flu shots early in the season just to help prevent and keep the flu from spreading,” said Marshall.

Marshall also recommends washing your hands.

Influenza A outbreaks have also been reported in Victoria, Duncan and Parksville recently.

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