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More than 400 visits to Flu Assessment Centre

Posted Nov 16th, 2009

Niagara, ON: The temporary Flu Assessment Centre operated by Niagara Health System (NHS) closed on Sunday, November 15, 2009.

Between November 2 and 15, the Flu Assessment Centre at the Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines treated a total of 437 patients, helping to take some of the pressure off the Emergency Rooms (ERs) and Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) by redirecting patients with mild flu symptoms to the centre.

“At its peak, the Flu Assessment Centre saw 64 patients in one day,” says Anne Atkinson, Vice President Patient Services. “However, the number of patients going to the Flu Assessment Centre has declined significantly over the last week. This is consistent with the number of patients in our ERs and UCCs, which is coming back to more normal activity levels.”

With the Flu Assessment Centre closed, adults and children with mild flu symptoms should go to a physician, walk-in clinic or UCC. Mild symptoms include: fever, dry cough, sore throat, mild vomiting, diarrhea, headache, body/muscle aches. Those with severe symptoms should call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

NHS ERs and UCCs saw a one percent overall increase in patient volumes yesterday as compared to the daily average in September; 517 patients yesterday compared to the September daily average of 512.

An additional 13 patients were seen in the Flu Assessment Centre during its last day of operation yesterday, for a 3.5 percent overall increase of ER, Urgent Care and Flu Assessment Centre visits. Of the 530 patients seen in the ERs, UCCs and Flu Assessment Centre yesterday, 25 per cent of patients, or 134 patients, presented with flu symptoms.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System