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

Snowboarder dies at Mount Washington

A male snowboarder found unresponsive in a treed area on Mount Washington… Continue reading

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Hometown Hockey visits the home of the Big Stick

Cowichan hosts Rogers broadcast and accompanying festival

Mount Washington re-opens three lifts after rare closure

Mount Washington partially reopened for business Monday after heavy snowfall forced its… Continue reading

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Delamont plays god for laughs in Nanaimo show

‘God is a Scottish Drag Queen’ coming to VIU’s Malaspina Theatre

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

Most Read