IH, “As hard as this is, it’s important to stay home if you are sick to prevent the spread of disease. Instead, chat via the telephone or online video if available, and arrange to spend time together once you are symptom-free.” (Thinkstock image)

IH holiday reminder: Don’t visit if you’re feeling sick

Protecting loved ones and staying healthy over the holidays

The festive season is a time of celebrating with loved ones. Unfortunately, holiday mingling brings together people and germs.

At this time of year it is not unusual for health facilities to experience outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness (GI) and respiratory infections. Both are highly contagious and common in the community during the winter months.

Gastrointestinal illness is generally caused by viruses and bacteria, and occasionally from the toxins created by bacteria. The illness is spread from person to person through germs in the stool or vomit of infected people.

Respiratory infections are spread through droplets containing the virus or bacteria when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory infections can be caused by influenza (the flu).

While there is no single way to protect against every illness, a combination of practices will provide the best protection possible. Here’s what you can do to protect your loved ones and others in hospital or residential care facilities:

· Don’t visit if you are feeling unwell. As hard as this is, it’s important to stay home if you are sick to prevent the spread of disease. Instead, chat via the telephone or online video if available, and arrange to spend time together once you are symptom-free.

· Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, particularly after coughing and sneezing.

· Cough into your elbow or a tissue.

· Get a flu (influenza) shot. It’s not too late to be immunized. December is considered the start of flu season, which lasts through until at least April, so there is plenty of time to benefit from immunization. See your community pharmacist, physician or public health unit to inquire about receiving a flu shot. For more information about the influenza vaccine visit www.immunizebc.ca.

· Wear a mask. Remember, all visitors at Interior Health facilities are asked to wear a surgical mask during flu season if they have not been immunized against influenza. Masks are provided at entrances, reception desks, and at various other locations throughout Interior Health facilities.

For more information visit www.interiorhealth.ca.

Just Posted

Trail police looking for male suspect driving red van

RCMP report the man asked a young boy to get in his vehicle

‘Plaid for Dad’ in downtown Trail raises $1200

Kootenay Savings Credit Union served up a $5 lunch, baked goodies, held 50/50 draw

Teck will continue to fight U.S. judgement

U.S. Supreme Court denied hearing Teck’s appeal last week

Four fires still burning in West Kootenay

More than 25 fires were started by lightning in the last week.

Castlegar police seek dawn home intruder

Man walked into house at 4 a.m., asks son about mother

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Police investigating fatal collision near Grave Lake

Grave Lake is located approximately halfway between Sparwood and Elkford

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Most Read