Those visiting hospitals or healthcare facilities who are not vaccinated must wear a mask in patient care areas to protect their loved ones and staff. (Black Press file image)

Flu outbreak at care facilities on Vancouver Island

Island Health asks those who are ill to not visit hospitals, residential care or assisted living facilities

Officials with Island Health have confirmed flu outbreaks of Influenza A and B in long-term care facilities stretching from Victoria to Parksville. They also report confirmed cases of the flu in laboratory tests across Vancouver Island.

This is bad news for the elderly and those with weakened immune systems as influenza (the flu) is among the leading causes of death, according to Health Canada, causing more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.

According to the active outbreak list, three locations in Nanaimo are dealing with flu outbreaks and two have enacted outbreak restrictions or precautions for the entire facility. A complete list can be viewed on the Vancouver Island Health Authority website.

  • Dufferin Place, Nanaimo
  • Eden Gardens, Nanaimo
  • Origin at Longwood, Nanaimo
  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
  • Trillium Lodge, Parksville
  • Glengarry Hospital, Victoria
  • Sunrise of Victoria, Victoria
  • Oak Bay Lodge, Victoria

Island Health asks those who are ill to not visit hospitals, residential care or assisted living facilities as the flu virus spreads through breathing, coughing and sneezing. Those visiting hospitals or healthcare facilities who are not vaccinated must wear a mask in patient care areas to protect their loved ones and staff. Island Health encourages visitors to look for masks near main entrances, hand washing stations or at the reception and admitting areas.

“During the flu season, demand on emergency rooms and hospitals increases,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health Medical Health Officer. “Do not use emergency services for health care needs that can be met by your physician or at walk-in clinics.”

Flu symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue, and are more prolonged than a cold or stomach virus, the latter of which also includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Island Health encourages residents to take steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands frequently after touching people or surfaces. Use soap and water and/or alcohol-based sanitizers
  • Stay home when you’re sick or have flu symptoms. Keep children home from school when they are ill
  • Cough or sneeze into your upper arm or use a tissue, not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • And it’s not too late to get a flu shot

For more information about where to find a flu clinic on Vancouver Island and to learn if you qualify for a free influenza vaccine, click here.

Vaccines are provided free of charge to people who are at high risk of serious illness from the flu (such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions), those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk, and people who provide essential community services.

Just Posted

Transition manager for Cowichan amalgamation referendum suggested

Duncan and North Cowichan want to hold election on April 7

Editorial: Start planning now for Duncan warming centre next winter

We can only hope that we’ve already been through the worst of winter

Cowichan in national spotlight with Hometown Hockey

Rogers Hometown Hockey is a two-day festival that culminates with a national broadcast Sunday

Suicide prompts Yellow Friendship Bench at VIU’s Cowichan campus

Bench program aims to help students with mental issues

UPDATE: Altercation near Duncan high school sparks concerns

Principal Charlie Coleman took to Facebook Tuesday to allay concerns.

VIDEO: Kerry Park Minor Hockey are ready to chip Christmas trees at Cowichan Bay

The weather outside was frightful but volunteering with friends was still delightful.

Plan your Hometown Hockey weekend

Find your favourites on the Hometown Hockey schedule

Hometown Hockey: Cowichan Capitals events

On Jan. 20 there will be special features during the game for Hometown Hockey

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Most Read