Toronto Public Health (TPH) is advising Torontonians of an increase in influenza cases over the last few weeks.
TPH says the flu is expected to reach a peak in Toronto over the next couple of weeks.
As of Dec. 15, eight institutional outbreaks and 135 lab-confirmed cases have been reported to TPH. Hospitals can expect an increased pressure in emergency departments and emergency admissions over the next three weeks and may expect to experience flow issues when elective surgery re-opens in January.
Family physicians and walk-in clinics can also expect to see increased volumes of patients presenting with influenza-like illness (ILI). Many emergency departments and clinic settings will be implementing additional procedures for preventing influenza transmission, such as additional signage regarding hand hygiene and masking of symptomatic patients in waiting areas, additional personal protective equipment for triage nurses, and segregated waiting areas.
TPH recommends that people get their influenza immunization if they have not already done so. Vaccine is available from family physicians, Occupational Health Services and some pharmacies, practise frequent hand hygiene and cough etiquette to avoid transmitting influenza to others.
For the most current weekly information on influenza activity in Toronto and other resources for the prevention of influenza, visit www.toronto.ca/health/professionals/