Interior Health reporting 11 illness outbreaks at long-term care facilities – Okanagan

Interior Health reporting 11 illness outbreaks at long-term care facilities – Okanagan

Interior Health reports 11 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, including eight in the Okanagan.

Six of the outbreaks are related to COVID, five of which are due to respiratory diseases. Outbreaks have been confirmed at Williams Lake Seniors Village, Polar Ridge Pavilion, Mariposa Gardens, Monashee Mews, Ridgeview Lodge, Heritage Square, McKinney Place, Three Links Manor, Mission Creek Landing, Cottonwoods and Kelowna General Hospital.

“Respiratory diseases are a number of different viruses that can cause respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat and fatigue,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health’s Medical Health Officer.

“It’s not unusual for this time of year, but it’s slowed down in recent years because we’ve had so many restrictions. However, every time you have an outbreak, it is a concern.”

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According to Interior Health, vaccinations play a crucial role despite the rise in COVID-19 and respiratory diseases among seniors.

“We have a number of sufferers in these long-term care facilities, but we’re not seeing the large number of sufferers we had before the COVID vaccine, so very few hospitalizations, and that’s really good news,” he told Dr. memes

Interior Health’s medical health officer says a number of steps and precautions are being taken at long-term care facilities during this time.

“So we’re limiting visits, we’re isolating any seniors who have symptoms, and it’s also mandatory to wear masks in long-term care facilities, especially for staff who work at the facility,” said Dr. memes

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With the holiday season just days away, Dr. Mema adds that isolation can be particularly harsh on sufferers’ metal health.

“Outbreaks can have a serious impact on seniors,” explained Dr. memes

“The restrictions that have been put in place to stop the spread can lead to social isolation and now it’s the Christmas season and people are dying to get together and there are Christmas parties or other activities and we need to limit those during that time the outbreaks, unfortunately.”

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IH added that if you haven’t received a COVID-19 or influenza vaccine, you still have plenty of time.

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“If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, we strongly encourage you to get one,” said Dr. memes

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