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Flu and gastro: Hurry and read this article before hurrying to the hospital’s Emergency Department

In most cases, your home—not the Emergency Department—
 is the best place to recuperate when you have the flu or gastro

Montreal, December 20, 2016 – CLSC walk-in clinics, family medicine groups, the Info-Santé help line (8-1-1), simple precautions and vaccination are the best ways to protect yourself and recover during flu and gastroenteritis season. As an added bonus, by using these resources, you will help reduce unnecessary overcrowding in your hospital’s Emergency Department.

Preventive measures
For everyone

You can follow a few simple steps everywhere, all the time, to reduce the risk of viral contamination:

  • Wash your hands often 
  • Use a hydro-alcohol solution if soap and water are unavailable 
  • Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow, instead of your hand

For vulnerable individuals

"For individuals who are at greater vulnerability, and for the people living with them, the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal strongly recommends getting vaccinated against the flu to reduce the risk of infection and severe complications, despite the fact that this is not a perfect solution," says Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the CIUSSS. “Repeated hand-washing is also a very effective means of protecting oneself and others".

"Vaccines are among the most efficient measures to avoid being infected by the flu," adds Dr. Karl Weiss, a microbiologist and infectiologist at the Jewish General Hospital, which is a member institution of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. Dr. Weiss, President of the Quebec Association of Physician Microbiologists and Infectiologists, explains that since "the vaccine is free for those in this vulnerable group, there is no reason not to get it, especially in light of the fact that it needs two weeks to reach its maximum protective strength."

The Portail santé mieux-être

The Quebec government’s Portail santé mieux-être has information to help members of the public decide whether to see a doctor.If they decide to do so, the Portail santé mieux-être can help them find frontline resourcesnear their home, with or without an appointment. For most people, home is the best place to recover from the flu or gastroenteritis.

However, it is important to keep track of the development of the symptoms. This is even more important for individuals who are more vulnerable.

Please note that the free Info Santé service (8-1-1) will continue to be available 24/7 during the holidays, as is the case throughout the year.

Media Relations: Emmanuelle Paciullo | | 514 340-8222, ext. 4120 | Pager: 514-413-1289
CIUSSS West-Central Montreal: serving a population of nearly 345,000, more than 9,000 employees including 900 doctors.