Island Health is calling for the public not to visit hospitals, residential care or assisted-living facilities if ill, as it announced confirmed outbreaks of influenza A at long-term care facilities in the Nanaimo-Parksville area.
Nanaimo’s Eden Gardens and Origin at Longwood have taken outbreak precautions with confirmed influenza A illness, while Trillium Lodge in Parksville has tests pending for a respiratory or influenza-like illness, according to Island Health.
The health authority also noted sporadic laboratory reports of people in communities throughout the Island with confirmed cases of the flu.
“During the flu season, demand on emergency rooms and hospitals increases,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health medical health officer in a press release. “Do not use emergency services for health care needs that can be met by your physician or at walk-in clinics.”
The press release also noted while the flu is a short-term inconvenience for healthy people, it is among the leading causes of death in Canada and asked people don’t visit hospitals, residential care or assisted-living facilities if they’re ill.
To protect from the flu, people can take measures such as frequent hand washing, staying home when they are sick or have flu symptoms, avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Vaccines are available from a pharmacist or physician and can be found by visiting Immunize B.C.’s influenza clinic locator, or by calling HealthLink B.C. at 811.