Respiratory illness increases in the region
Northwestern Health Unit - Special to The Bulletin
Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) is seeing increasing rates of respiratory illness in the region. Increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations associated with COVID-19, respiratory outbreaks in congregate care settings, and reports of community respiratory illness all indicate that respiratory illness is prominent in our communities. Influenza A has also been confirmed in our catchment area. NWHU is reminding everyone to stay safe this respiratory illness season and prevent unnecessary visits to the hospital by preventing the spread of infections.
All eligible people are encouraged to get their influenza and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are able. Everyone needs to do their part to protect themselves and others, especially during respiratory illness season.
The following measures can help to keep you and others healthy:
- Receive your COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine.
- Wear a tight-fitting, well-constructed mask in indoor public settings, especially if you or someone you are with is at higher risk of severe infection.
- Screen daily for signs of illness and stay home when you are sick.
- Wash or sanitize your hands often.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces.
If you do get symptoms, remember to stay home, and isolate yourself from others, especially staying away from newborns, the elderly, and anyone at high risk of severe illness, until ALL the following apply:
- Your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours after any nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea has ended)
- You do not have a fever.
- You do not develop any new symptoms.
Also, for 10 days after your symptoms started:
- Wear a tight-fitting mask in all public settings.
- Avoid non-essential visits to anyone who is immunocompromised or at a higher risk of illness, for example seniors.
- Avoid non-essential visits to high-risk settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes.
- Avoid non-essential activities where you need to take your mask off, for example dining out.
For more information, on COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, visit online: Protection from COVID19 and other respiratory illnesses | ontario.ca (https://www.ontario.ca/page/protection-covid-19-and-other-respiratory-illnesses)