Infection Control is everyone’s business! How can you help prevent infection?
Hand cleaning is one of the best ways patients, visitors and health care team can prevent infections from spreading in the hospital. There are alcohol-based hand rub dispensers located at all of our entrances, throughout all of our buildings, hallways and outside of patient rooms.
- All visitors are asked to clean their hands with alcohol-based hand rub upon arrival at the hospital and before and after visiting a patient.
- Please see these step-by-step instructions (opens in new window) showing you when and how to clean your hands. All staff at St. Joseph’s Health Centre are trained on these ‘4 Moments of Hand Hygiene’ as well.
- Do not visit others if you have cold/flu symptoms or unexplained gastrointestinal problems (i.e., upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea). This is another way we can keep germs from spreading in the hospital.
Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue. Discard used tissues and clean your hands.
For the well-being of our patients, please follow these guidelines. If you have any questions, contact the unit you are planning to visit.
General Flu Information
It’s important that you protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu this season. Find a flu shot clinic where you live (opens in new window).
For more information contact Toronto Public Health:
Call 3-1-1, 24 hours a day
Visit www.toronto.ca/health (opens in new window)
We are committed to protecting our patients and coworkers from the flu
This year, our staff, physicians, volunteers, students, and agency/contract workers are once again making a choice in how they commit to their role in patient safety and the safety of their coworkers. Those who do not wish to receive the flu vaccination, or who have medical exemptions, will wear a procedure mask in areas where patients are present and patient care is delivered.
Many of our clinical and non-clinical employees make the choice every year to get the flu shot and to also wear a procedural mask as part of their own personal patient safety commitment.
When visiting the Health Centre during flu season
Our visitors also have a choice to wear a procedure mask when visiting a loved one in the Health Centre. Masks are available at our main entrances and on the patient care units. During your visit, please remember to wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub. Click here for more information on hand hygiene.
If you are not feeling well, we ask that you please stay home and visit your loved one when you are feeling better.
General Flu Information: Flu 101
We are helping to protect our patients, their families and visitors from the flu this season. Getting the flu shot will help protect you from getting sick from the flu. It is also important to understand what influenza is and how it spreads.
Please take a moment to read some quick FAQs and remember to always wash your hands!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is influenza
Influenza, often called the flu, is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can spread around the world in epidemics and causes serious illness as well as death. In Canada the influenza season usually begins in October and can last to August.
How is influenza spread
Influenza spreads easily from person to person through breathing, coughing and sneezing. The virus can also spread when a person touches tiny droplets from coughs and sneezes on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth, eyes or nose before washing their hands.
About the flu shot
The influenza vaccine (flu shot) is made from particles of killed flu viruses. It contains three different types of influenza viruses (two types of influenza A and one of influenza B). A person who receives the flu shot develops immunity for the types of flu in the vaccine. The body needs about two weeks to build up protection to the virus, and this protection may last four months or longer.
The flu vaccine is 70-90 per cent effective in healthy individuals and usually protects well for at least 6 months. In the elderly, young people and people with weak immune systems, chronic heart and lung diseases it is approximately 40 per cent effective and usually protects for only four months. Flu season begins in October and can last to August.
People with influenza are contagious for one to two days before symptoms start – this is the most common cause of spread within health care institutions. Many people can also have mild symptoms which are often mistaken for the common cold.
Who should not get the flu shot
- Infants six months old and younger
- Individuals with severe allergic reactions to egg or egg proteins or any component of the vaccine – check with your doctor
- Those with history of neurological illness such as Guillan-Barre syndrome
This information has been collected from a number of sources including St. Joseph’s Health Centre’s Infection Prevention and Control Department and Toronto Public Health.
Additional information can be found at:
- Toronto Public Health (opens in new window)
- Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (opens in a new window)
- Public Health Agency of Canada (opens in new window)
More flu information you may also be interested in:
- When coming to the Health Centre
- What to do if you are not feeling well
- Other Influenza Resources