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Influenza outbreak declared over at TDMH

Tillsonburg News/File Photo

Tillsonburg News/File Photo

Recent visiting restrictions at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital have been lifted as of Friday, Feb. 16.

A flu outbreak at TDMH prompted the restrictions on Feb. 9. Two patients had tested positive for Influenza B and several showed signs and symptoms of the flu.

On Friday it was announced by TDMH that the influenza outbreak was declared over, and that visitation had resumed as normal.

"Special thanks to the community and TDMH team members for the support during the influenza outbreak," said Kathy VanDenbrink, Aministrative Facilitator, in an email.

"Thanks to everyone’s due diligence in helping to prevent further transmissions, we are able to report that the Outbreak on 1 South and 2 North is over as of today (Feb. 16)."

Respiratory and gastro symptoms, however, have been reported in the community.

On Feb. 9, in consultation with the Oxford County Public Health Unit, the hospital opted to put in place visitor restrictions for patients on the affected units (1-South and 2-North), except on compassionate grounds.

Hospital officials asked anyone not feeling well, particularly with flu-like symptoms, to not visit patients at the hospital. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue.

Control measures implemented included:

* Visitors asked to wash hands upon entrance and exit at each of the patient/visitor entrances.

* Hospital communicated directly with family members related to patients on the affected units.

* Signage posted at the facility entrances and affected units.

* Enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection.

TDMH’s emergency departments continued to screen patients for flu-like symptoms upon arrival. Outpatient clinics and elective services remained functional. All hospital services were offered as usual in other areas of the hospital.

“As influenza activity continues to increase in our community, it is important to remind everyone to take preventative measures against contracting influenza such as washing hands frequently in soap and warm water, cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand, and it’s not too late to still get your annual flu shot,” Julie Ellery, Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President Clinical Services, said in a media release.

For anyone who gets the flu, they are infectious one to three days before symptoms start, and remain infectious until five days after the onset of symptoms.

Sandy Jansen, President and CEO of TDMH said, “This type of outbreak is not uncommon at this time of year. We are taking a number of precautions to keep our team, patients and visitors safe and healthy.”