Friday 22 December 2017: Due to an increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with influenza, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) has restricted visitors to patients on Gordon Ward. Only immediate family of patients on that ward will be allowed access.
Additionally Bermuda Hospitals Board is requesting that members of the public with respiratory and flu-like symptoms not visit patients in the hospital. These symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, body aches or fever.
Hospital patients are more vulnerable to infection from flu and respiratory viruses.
KEMH has seen an increase in recent weeks of confirmed influenza cases in patients that were admitted to the Emergency Department and those that were already inpatients.
So far there have been several confirmed influenza cases – five adults and two children were diagnosed in the Emergency Department and admitted. In addition, six inpatients with flu-like symptoms are currently Gordon Ward. All patients with the flu are in isolation.
How can we protect ourselves from catching influenza? Take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta recommends the following:
- A yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Frequent hand hygiene.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common.
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
- It is most beneficial for people at high risk of serious flu complications that include: young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.
- Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.
If you suspect you have the flu visit your family doctor.