More restrictions are in place, after a flu outbreak at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Hospital officials say immediate restrictions are now in place for patients on the Stroke/Rehab unit as of Monday, January 8 due to respiratory illness.

Patients have developed influenza-like symptoms over the weekend from the Stroke/Rehab unit, warranting respiratory outbreak measures based on outbreak definition, CKHA officials stated in a press release.

Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue.

Restrictions continue to be in place for Medicine Unit B and Complex Continuing Care, 4th Floor at CKHA’s Chatham campus for influenza outbreak, which was announced last week.

To assist in preventing further transmission, CKHA officials are asking anyone who is not feeling well, particularly with influenza-like symptoms to not visit patients at the hospital at this time.

In addition, anyone visiting patients who may have influenza will be required to wear a hospital-provided mask, gown, and gloves.

Further, no children under 12 can visit the compromised units for their own safety and that of patients and staff.

Visitors are asked when entering and exiting the hospital to use the main entrance only.

The Emergency Department entrance is designated only for those seeking emergency services.

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

All hospital services are offered as usual in other areas of the hospital.

CKHA’s Emergency Departments will continue to screen patients for influenza-like symptoms upon arrival.

Out-Patient Clinics and elective services also remain functional.

“Because the outbreak has now been identified in the Stroke/Rehab unit, we ask the community to please take preventative measures against contacting and spreading the flu,” stated Lori Marshall, President and CEO.

“This includes washing hands frequently in soap and warm water, cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand and please consider getting your annual flu shot.”

For those who develop influenza-like symptoms, they are infectious 1-3 days before symptoms start, and remain infectious until 5 days after the onset of symptoms.

This situation will be reassessed daily and a decision whether to lift restrictions will be made, at which time further communications will be issued.

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