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Viral season alert for visitors

December 19, 2014 — Peak viral season has arrived in Ottawa and viral diseases can be spread easily throughout the community.  Respiratory viruses are passed from person to person when the infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing germs into the air that are inhaled by others who are in close proximity. These germs can also land on hard surfaces such as counters, door knobs and bed rails. If a person touches an object that has been contaminated, and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose, they can catch the disease.

You can help prevent the spread of infections

  • Get immunized against the flu.
    It is not too late to get your flu shot at a walk-in clinic or your local pharmacy, or your workplace if it is offered there.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
    Anyone with fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea or vomiting, should not visit patients in the hospital.
  • Learn and use proper “cough etiquette”.
    • Cover the nose/mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or your elbow (not your hands).
    • Use disposable tissues for mucus and throw the tissues into garbage right away after using.
    • Clean hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing noses.
  • Keep hands clean.
    Clean your hands with an alcohol based hand product for 15 seconds. However, if you can see dirt on your hands, alcohol based hand products won’t work – you must wash with soap and water. You must clean your hands:

    • After sneezing, coughing, or any contact with mucus from the nose or mouth
    • Before and after eating
    • After using the washroom
    • On entry to the hospital
    • Before entering a patient room, and upon leaving a patient room
    • When leaving the hospital
  • Respect our visitor policy.
    Our visitor policy allows two visitors at a time between 3 and 8 p.m. Other restrictions may apply (Example: young children who are unable to follow hand hygiene and cough etiquette).   

For more information:

Media contact:
Hazel Harding, Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital
hharding@toh.on.ca
613-737-8460