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Newsroom
15/12/2014
Ottawa area hospitals take measures to protect against winter viruses
Ottawa (Ontario), December 15, 2014 — Given high levels of virus activity in the winter season, the local hospitals in Ottawa are asking for the community’s support in reducing the spread of infection.
 
To protect vulnerable patients with existing health conditions, the hospitals are putting in place enhanced, temporary visitation restrictions across the hospitals, which will include:
  • Anyone with a runny nose, cough, fever, vomiting or diarrhea is asked not to visit
  • Families should limit who accompanies patients to its Emergency Department and outpatient clinics. No more than one or two people may accompany the patient, depending on the hospital. Please note that an Emergency Department is no place for healthy children during viral season.
  • Age restrictions may apply for visitors in some hospitals. Please check hospital websites for more details.
  • Wash your hands when you arrive and leave the hospital and the patient’s room
The hospitals are now stepping up their infection prevention and control practices, such as cleaning, to help reduce the possible spread of infection. These extra measures will help our patients stay safe and get better, keep infection rates low, and are part of our on-going commitment to quality improvement.

Viral infections are spread by:

  • Direct contact with an infected person,
  • Indirect contact such as touching a contaminated surface, and/or
  • Exposure to an infected person who may be coughing or sneezing.
The hospitals remind families that frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory infections. Careful and frequent hand washing with warm water and soap or alcohol based sanitizer for at least 15 seconds limits the spread of viruses. Children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of experiencing complications or hospitalization from the flu. During viral season, extra care should be taken by carefully washing all books, toys, and common surfaces to avoid the spread of infection. And remember to cough in a tissue or in your sleeve, not your hands.
 
Here are some simple additional things you can do to prevent illness or injury and help you stay out of the hospital this holiday season:
  • Make sure that everyone in your family has enough of their medications - both prescription and non-prescription – before your family physician closes for the holidays
  • Check out inhalers, respirators, oxygen, and glucose testing machines.
  • Sand or salt your driveway and walkways.
  • Get the flu shot
 Every year we see people admitted to hospital – even to the ICU – suffering from influenza or its complications, like pneumonia. For most of these patients, their illness could have been avoided by getting the flu shot.
 

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Marie Belanger

CHEO media relations
(613) 737-2343
mabelanger@cheo.on.ca
 
Calline Au
Queensway Carleton Hospital
(613) 721-2000, ext. 5621
cau@qch.on.ca
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