Hospitals working to stop spread of flu virus

Hospitals in the Ottawa area are asking for the community's help to reduce the spread of infection as the flu season came early this year.

Hospital releases suggestions of how to minimize the spread of winter viruses

Hospitals in Ottawa are asking the public to help minimize the spread of winter viruses. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Hospitals in the Ottawa area are asking for the community's help to reduce the spread of infection as the flu season came early this year.

CHEO, the Ottawa Hospital, Montfort, Bruyère, the Royal and the Queensway-Carleton Hospital put out a joint news release on this issue on Tuesday.

"Hospital patients are at greater risk for infection as their bodies are already working hard to recover from their illness or injury," they said in the release.

"When germs are brought into the hospital from well-meaning family or visitors, it puts all hospital patients at risk."

Staff at the hospitals will be stepping up prevention and monitoring during the peak of the season, which is expected to hit in the new year.

They're asking people to:

  • Avoid visiting patients if you have a runny nose, cough, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Limit the number of people who accompany patients to the emergency department and outpatient clinics.  
  • Clean your hands when you come and go from the hospital and patient's room.

Hospitalizations from influenza are already higher than expected, they said. 

Additionally, there were two outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Ottawa daycare centres, according to Ottawa Public Health. The city is urging anyone who may have come in contact with children at the daycare centres to wash their hands often and disinfect anything they may have touched.