Flu Season is Here. Know when to get help.
January 9, 2018 - Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by a virus. Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, weakness, body aches and headache. Influenza can lead to pneumonia.
Most people with the flu are strongly encouraged to avoid the Emergency Department to prevent spreading the flu to others, but it can be difficult to know when and where to seek medical help.
To help people know when to stay home and when to seek help, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care developed an online self-screening tool at ontario.ca/flu. The website also offers tips for managing flu symptoms at home, which include drinking lots of fluids and taking basic pain or fever symptom relievers.
When to seek medical help
If you do not start to feel better after a few days or if your symptoms get worse, you should:
· Call your health care provider
· Call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 (toll free) TTY: 1-866-797-0007
· Visit one of the local After Hours Clinics
When to come to the hospital
Adults should come to the Emergency Department if they have flu symptoms and have difficulty breathing, can’t tolerate fluids, or are concerned.
Children should be brought to the Emergency Department if their symptoms improve and then suddenly become worse. In addition, seek care if you notice any of the following signs:
· fast or difficult breathing
· bluish or dark-coloured lips or skin
· drowsiness to the point where he or she cannot be easily wakened
· severe crankiness or not wanting to be held or
· dehydration – not drinking enough fluids and not passing urine regularly.
Protect yourself and others against Influenza
If you haven't been vaccinated, please consider getting the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact your healthcare provider or participating pharmacist.
To help protect patients and the RMH team against the flu, RMH has a policy that strongly encourages all staff, physicians, volunteers and students who are not vaccinated against the flu to wear a surgical mask while in patient care areas.