Flu season at St. Michael’s
Our first priority is the safety of our patients and staff, and that includes protecting our patients and staff from influenza (flu). The flu can be dangerous to hospital patients. Here’s what you need to know.
- Infants six months old and younger
- Individuals with severe allergic reactions to egg or egg proteins or any component of the vaccine – check with your doctor
- Those with history of neurological illness such as Guillan-Barre syndrome
The flu vaccine is 70-90 per cent effective in healthy individuals and usually protects well for at least six months. In the elderly, young people and people with weak immune systems, chronic heart and lung diseases it is approximately 40 per cent effective and usually protects for only four months.
People with influenza are contagious for one to two days before symptoms start – this is the most common cause of spread within health care institutions. Many people can also have mild symptoms which are often mistaken for the common cold.
- If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue or shortness of breath, please stay home: do not visit the hospital. Contact your doctor’s office to determine what type of care you need.
- If your doctor’s office is closed or if you don’t have a family doctor, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak to a nurse who will help with any health-related question. Telehealth is free and open 24 hours a day.
- As always, if your condition is serious, visit your nearest Emergency Department.
- To find health care options in your community, visit ontario.ca/healthcareoptions or call 1-866-330-6206.
- If you don’t have a health-care provider, you can register for the Health Care Connect Program or call: 1-800-445-1822.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly in warm, soapy water or use hand sanitizer
- Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy
- Cough and sneeze in your arm, not your hand
- Keep common surfaces and items clean and disinfected
- Stay home if you’re sick. Contact a health care provider if your symptoms worsen
- Get your flu shot!
Thank you for helping us protect our patients and staff from the flu.
Have more questions? Additional information can be found at: