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October 28, 2009
For immediate release
Influenza Assessment Clinic Opening in Charlottetown
An Influenza Assessment Site, opening in Charlottetown tomorrow, will provide health services to Islanders with influenza-like illness, says Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for Prince Edward Island.
“In recent days, increasing numbers of Islanders with influenza-like symptoms have been presenting at clinics throughout Charlottetown and at the emergency room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer. “At the Influenza Assessment Site, symptomatic people can be assessed and, if necessary, receive treatment. We hope this will also alleviate some of the pressure off the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Room and the doctors’ offices.”
Dr. Morrison provided the following guidelines to help Islanders decide when to seek medical attention:
• If you have mild symptoms (see below) of influenza-like illness, but are otherwise healthy, you should stay at home to recuperate until symptom free and able to return to regular work or school activities. However, if conditions worsen, a health care provider should be contacted.
• If you have influenza-like illness and have underlying health conditions or if you are pregnant, you should contact your health provider or doctor or visit the Influenza Assessment Site.
• Seek immediate medical attention if you become very ill, or have shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, sudden dizziness, severe or persistent vomiting.
• Seek immediate medical attention for a child if he/she has very fast breathing or trouble breathing, bluish skin colour, is not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting; or has increased irritability, fever with a rash, or flu-like symptoms that improve and then return with fever and worse cough.
For more information on when to seek medical treatment, call 1-888-748-5454.
Symptoms of H1N1 Flu Virus are similar to those of regular influenza and include cough with or without fever plus one of the following: sore throat, body aches and pains, fatigue, and lack of appetite. Gastrointestinal symptoms (like vomiting and diarrhea) may also be present. Fever may not be prominent in those under age five or over 65.
The Influenza Assessment clinic will open Thursday, October 29 at the Four Neighbourhoods Family Health Centre, 152 St. Peters Road, and will continue to run daily from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., including weekends. Additional assessment clinics may be established in other communities if required. In the meantime, individuals should continue to seek medical care as required according to the above guidelines. Vaccines will not be available at the Influenza Assessment Site.
H1N1 Vaccine Clinics are continuing to operate throughout the province. This week vaccinations are offered to those who would benefit most from the vaccine as well as those who care for them. For a complete schedule, and list of the times and locations of clinics across the province each week, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu or see the ads in local newspapers.
For more information on how to look after someone who is ill at home, visit the Public Health Agency website at www.fightflu.ca.