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Seasonal illness on the rise

The medical health officer for Sun Country Health Region says the recent closure of facilities in the region is not unusual for this time of year.

"Every winter we see increases in respiratory illnesses, vomiting and diarrhea that affect all age groups in the community," says Dr. Shauna Hudson on Thursday.

"Viruses are responsible for many of these community infections and when they are circulating in the community they may lead to clusters of disease in our health care facilities," she says.

"Sun Country Health Region works together through out the year to ensure that when one of our facilities is affected by an outbreak, we can implement all the infection control measures in a timely fashion to protect the residents and patients in our facilities," said Dr. Hudson.

Over the last couple of months, several facilities in Sun Country Health Region have experienced outbreaks that have led to the closure of the facility and the implementation of other infection control measures.

"We understand the inconvenience these closures cause to the families of residents and patients but our primary concern is to protect the health of your family members and reduce the spread of these infections to other facilities because the residents of our long-term care facilities are at increased risk for severe forms of these illnesses and even death," said Dr. Hudson.

"We really count on our families and the public to help us control these outbreaks," she said.

"You can help us by making sure that you limit the possibility of bringing an infection into our long-term care facilities throughout the year. Wash your hands frequently, get your influenza immunization every year and don't visit your loved ones when you are sick," says Dr. Hudson.

For more information, please call Sun Country Health Region Medical Health Officer Dr. Shauna Hudson at 842-8618.

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