January 12, 2005

Confirmed cases of Influenza and Norovirus in City

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has confirmed the presence of influenza virus (causing fever and cough) and norovirus (causing vomiting and diarrhea) in a number of Personal Care Homes, Emergency Departments as well as in the community. This activity is expected to increase over the next several weeks.

WRHA Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Jan Currie said the region's Emergency Departments have been very busy since the start of the New Year. She urged anyone seeking medical attention to consider other appropriate options before going to Emergency.

"Consider making an appointment with your family doctor or going to Misericordia's Urgent Care Centre. If it's a minor injury, not an illness, the new Minor Injury Clinic at Pan Am is now also an option," Ms. Currie said. "If you are unsure of what is appropriate, call HealthLinks-Info Santè (788-8200); Registered Nurses there are trained to give that kind of guidance." She stressed that anyone experiencing a medical emergency should go to their nearest Emergency Department.

While there have been five confirmed cases of influenza A in the city, there are many more suspected cases. No numbers are available for the norovirus (more commonly known as stomach flu), but there have been numerous reports from both PCHs and EDs.

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