Montreal

Montreal public health battles high number of flu cases with clinics

Montreal’s public health department is bolstering its efforts to deal with a major flu outbreak on the island.

Public health hopes to reduce number of flu patients in ERs by setting up specialized clinics

Flu clinics have been set up in Montreal to help ease pressure on hospital emergency rooms. 2:05

Montreal’s public health agency is adding three new flu clinics in order to deal with the mounting number of flu cases on the island.

Over the weekend, several clinics were already converted into "flu clinics" in order to treat people suffering from flu-symptoms or complications of the flu. About 350 people showed up for medical treatment.

The agency has now added more flu clinics. Find the one nearest you:

The initiative is an effort to curb the number of flu cases threatening to overwhelm Montreal emergency rooms. Officials say one in 10 people showing up in hospital emergency rooms have flu symptoms.

"The Montreal emergency rooms are experiencing very high occupancy rates, and the pressure on them continues to rise," said Dr. Jacques Ricard, executive director of the Montreal public health agency.

Most of these clinics will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. from now until Friday, January 16.

Public Health advises people to call in before going to the clinic to make sure there’s space available.

The agency said it will re-evaluate the situation next week to determine whether flu clinics will stay open beyond the end of this week.

Officials also stress that the flu clinics do not offer vaccines. Anyone who wants a flu shot should contact their CLSC.

Flu symptoms include sudden fever, cough, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and general discomfort that lasts several days. Children may also have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains.

Officials say for the most part, people with flu symptoms should stay home and recover.

However, people are urged to seek medical attention if they suffer from any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or pain while breathing. Those at risk of health complications can also call 8-1-1.

Around 300 people die from influenza annually in Quebec.

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