Flu season has arrived in South Georgian Bay and is expected to peak over the next few weeks. Local activity is similar to what is being seen across the rest of Ontario.
At this time, we are asking the community to be vigilant in coming to the hospital’s emergency department or visiting a loved one in the hospital.
- Please use the hand sanitizing station when entering and exiting the hospital.
- If you are feeling unwell, please stay home and do not visit loved ones in the hospital.
- If you have not yet received a flu shot, the vaccine is still available at many pharmacies in the community.
The G&M’s Emergency Department, like all large ED’s in the province, is seeing an increase in visits due to the surge and despite being prepared for increased volumes, we are still experiencing longer than normal wait times.
Anyone arriving at the hospital exhibiting flu-like symptoms, which include sudden onset of a high fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle and joint pain and headache, will be isolated from other patients, whenever possible.
However, there are other options for care for those with minor ailments such as mild cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, sprains and strains, tooth pain, lower back pain, pink eye and rashes, apart from the Hospital’s ED.
The After Hours Clinic, located in the Erie Street Medical Building behind the hospital will be up staffing to two physicians, until January 7 to help combat the volumes expected to come through the community over the holidays. The After Hours Clinic is open from Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and sees patients on a first come, first served basis.
Additionally, The Same Day Clinic, run by a Nurse Practitioner, is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and anyone can call to book a same day appointment for minor ailments if they don’t have a local family physician or their physician is away. The number is 705-445-0333.
Dr. Mark Quigg, a family physician with the South Georgian Bay Family Health Team, reminds residents that the treatment for influenza is to drink plenty of fluids, bed rest and medications for fever, although the flu can be quite serious for infants, those over 65 years of age and people with serious medical conditions.
“Most area residents who get the flu will be able to manage their symptoms at home, but some may need help from a healthcare provider. In most cases family physicians are well equipped to care for patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms out in the community,” says Dr. Quigg. “However, influenza can be quite serious for some people – especially infants and seniors. If you or a family member experience marked shortness of breath when at rest, or high fever for five days or any other symptoms you are concerned about, you should seek medical attention.”
Members of the community are reminded to protect themselves against the influenza virus. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it’s not too late to get it. Check with your local pharmacy or contact your family physician. A complete list of clinics available in Simcoe County is available on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Units (SMDHU) website at www.smdhu.org.
Please consider protecting yourself and others by getting the flu shot.