Like elsewhere in the province, Grey Bruce is experiencing increased reports of respiratory illness. Since mid-December, there have been seven respiratory outbreaks, including five influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
There are another 26 lab-confirmed influenza cases in the community as well as significant numbers of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. This widespread sickness is having an impact on area hospitals due to increased admissions.
“People need to know how easy it is for these illnesses to spread. The impact on vulnerable individuals in hospitals, seniors’ facilities and on young children can be devastating.” says Alanna Leffley, Senior Epidemiologist at the Grey Bruce Health Unit. “Please stay at home for 48 hours even after your illness; be it fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, not only for you to fully recover but to keep others from getting ill.”
The Grey Bruce Health Unit reminds everyone to avoid spreading colds, influenza and gastrointestinal illnesses like Noroviruses (the cause of 24-48 hours of vomiting and/or diarrhea). Stay home from work, school or daycare, and avoid visiting others when you are ill. Frequent hand washing, getting the flu shot and covering your cough will help to reduce the spread of illness.