Tuesday November 25, 2014

Viral outbreaks in the local region


This is the season when Sunrise Health Region sees an increased number of contagious illnesses, including enteric (stomach and intestine) and respiratory (airways and lungs). Enteric illnesses, like those caused by Norovirus, and respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold and Influenza, are quite common in the community especially during the winter months.

The following facilities are currently on outbreak status. Visitors should call ahead to the nurses’ station before visiting the facility:

• Theodore Health Centre (Enteric)

• Ituna Pioneer Health Care Centre (Enteric)

• Yorkton & District Nursing Home – Skinner Place (Influenza A)

• Canora Gateway Lodge (Influenza A)

An illness that may cause discomfort for several days in a healthy person can be more serious for those who are very young, very old, or who have an acute or chronic health condition.

It is important that contagious illness be identified early and steps are taken to keep illness from spreading to others, especially in healthcare facilities.

When signs and symptoms suggest a contagious illness, tests are sent to the laboratory to identify the type of illness. A facility outbreak is declared when the number of cases is beyond the normal threshold. During an outbreak, signs are posted to advise visitors of additional precautions. An outbreak may be declared for all areas, or only part of, a health care facility.

During an outbreak, visiting is discouraged until the outbreak is declared over. However, for urgent or compassionate reasons, visitors can report to the nursing station where they will receive instruction on how to limit exposure and transmission. Very young children are more vulnerable to illness and for their protection, visiting is not allowed for children under the age of six during an outbreak.

In 2011 there were fifteen facility outbreak notifications declared in health care facilities around the region. In 2012, six facility outbreaks have been declared to date.

The declaration of an outbreak should not be viewed with fear as the declaration of a facility outbreak is simply a measure to contain illness, to reduce the spread to unaffected staff and residents in the facility, and to keep visitors from unintentionally transmitting illness to other patients and family members.

A list of current outbreaks and visitor information is located on the Sunrise Health Region website, www.sunrisehealthregion.sk.ca ‘Alerts & Notices’ menu or by calling the Sunrise InfoLine, 1-866-800-5510.



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