The medicine unit of Stratford General Hospital has closed to admissions as officials declared an outbreak of influenza after three patients tested positive for the flu.
“In response to the outbreak, we are working closely with Huron Perth Public Health,” HPHA infection control practitioner Larry Morrell said in a statement.
Morrell added that the unit’s visitors have been restricted to two per patient, while limitations have been implemented on the unit’s staff.
All patients in the unit are currently offered prophylaxis with Tamiflu. Unit visitors are asked to follow proper hand hygiene procedures and are reminded to cough or sneeze into their arms instead of their hands.
Any visitor who does not feel well or experiences symptoms similar to those of the flu (cough, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headache or sneezing) should refrain from visiting until he feels better. Exceptions will be made for reasons of compassion or for direct family members of palliative patients.
“With influenza circulating in the communities of Huron and Perth, we would like to remind the public that there are several things that can be done to protect yourself and others who get sick,” Morrell added. “Get a flu shot, which is still available at your family doctor and local pharmacies. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based disinfectant. “
Eighty-seven percent of HPHA staff, doctors and students have been vaccinated against influenza. HPHA will continue to update the public as the information changes or becomes more available.