If you plan to visit Eagle Ridge Hospital or any other healthcare facility in the coming days and months, be prepared to wear a face mask if you have not had a flu shot.
Keeping your face covered is the recommendation of Fraser Health, at the request of the provincial government, which has introduced a policy for both visitors and healthcare professionals.
The province now requires face masks for those who are not vaccinated against influenza.
In an email, Dixon Tam, Senior Counselor for Public Affairs, confirmed that Fraser Health takes the same action as Vancouver Coastal by recommending face masks to those who have not been vaccinated.
With the influenza season well underway, and children, seniors and people with compromised immune systems that are most vulnerable, the masks are seen as a way to limit the spread of flu.
"To protect our patients in hospital or housing care, we ask that family and friends visiting their loved ones in a Fraser Health facility should be vaccinated with an influenza shed and if they have not been vaccinated they should wear a mask in People who do not have strong immune systems, seniors, toddlers and pregnant women are most vulnerable to flu complications. Also, flu can worsen the symptoms of some chronic conditions, "Tam said in an email.
The policy will be in place from now until the end of March and affects visitors and health professionals.
Influenza is spread from person to person by inhalation of small drops that are produced when a person infected with influenza cough sneezes, laughs or sings.
It can also spread by direct contact and in contact with infected respiratory secretions through objects such as bed liners, facial tissues or utensils.
Hand wash is important in order to avoid spreading the flu, and those who do not feel good should avoid Fraser Health facilities, as Tam further stated.
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