Visitor restrictions in place on all in-patient units at HSC Children's

The public reminded to take precautions to protect infants

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Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Friday, March 4, 2016

The Medical Director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Child Health Program is informing the public of steps being taken to prevent transmission of respiratory infections at Children’s Hospital.  This public reminder is being issued as Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital is seeing an increase in the number of cases of Influenza A.

At HSC Children’s Hospital, visitor restrictions include postponing a visit if possible, avoiding bringing children or others who become sick easily to visit, declining to visit if you yourself are ill or feel unwell, remaining on the unit with a patient during visits and diligent hand-washing. On the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, visitors are restricted to parents, and visitors are limited to two at a time.

Influenza spreads through coughing and sneezing, but the virus can also live on surfaces such as countertops or doorknobs and on hands and clothing, so it can be easily transferred when a person touches something contaminated, Dr. Terry Klassen advised. 

A number of young children have recently presented to hospital requiring admission and specialized treatment, including using oxygen masks and even being put on a ventilator. This is typically seen during waves of influenza and other respiratory viruses such as RSV.  

Tips to stay healthy during influenza season include:

  1. Wash your hands frequently - especially after touching your face, the face of your child and after contact with any other person who is ill.
  2. Stay home when sick, and keep sick children at home, as much as possible.
  3. Cover your cough by using a tissue, your sleeve or elbow and avoid coughing into your hands;
  4. For symptoms that include fever, cough, fatigue, head and body aches, or a runny nose the best cure is to stay home and rest in bed. 
  5. In the case of more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, please call your doctor or visit a walk-in clinic, ACCESS Centre, QuickCare clinic or local health clinic for assessment and treatment.  Visit for information about healthcare services in the Winnipeg health region.
  6. Get vaccinated.  Immunization remains the best protection for everyone six months of age and older with no contraindication to the vaccine.  The influenza vaccine is available from primary health care providers, such as family doctors and nurse practitioners, QuickCare Clinics or through public health offices.

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