About 16 senior care facilities are experiencing flu outbreaks so far this year, up from 11 last year.

The rise in outbreaks at seniors’ facilities mirrors the rise in cases reported to Ottawa Public Health this year.

So far this season more than 100 cases of influenza have been reported to Ottawa Public Health, and that number is expected to rise.

Four of the flu cases were fatal, and another 35 have resulted in hospitalization.

Gail Moffat, a nurse at Starwood Extendicare in the city's west end, said even a cold can be cause for concern for residents whose health has been compromised.

"You can imagine how much more we worry when it's the flu," she said.

Dr. Carolyn Pim of Ottawa Public Health said reported cases don't reflect the real number because most people who are sick don't get tested.

Ottawa Public Health is asking people to get a flu vaccine and practice proper hygiene to help contain the spread of the flu.

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