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Flu cases ramping up in Peterborough area, says PRHC

Flu cases on the rise at Peterborough area hospitals
Officials at Peterborough Regional Health Centre say they've noticed an increase in the number of residents who come in with the bug.

The emergency department at Peterborough Regional Health Centre is seeing an increase in patients with flu symptoms.

On average, PRHC saw 267 patients daily during the week of Christmas. That’s up from 245 patients daily during that same week in 2017.

READ MORE: Influenza outbreak declared at Peterborough long-term care facility

While not all of those patients came in with the flu, officials with the hospital say they’ve noticed an increase in the number of residents who come in with the bug.

“It’s certainly picked up over the last two weeks.  We’ve seen an increase in influenza-like illness at the hospital, many of those cases involving pediatric patients,” said Noel Bennett, director of patient flow at PRHC.

“I think we’re seeing more in pediatric patients this year. That’s the trend across the province as well.”

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Officials with PRHC say that while the emergency department is taxed, the hospital has made preparations for this year’s seasonal patient surge.

“Last fall, we opened 24 beds in the medicine unit. We’ve added another 12 beds this year,” said Bennett.  “Over the last year, we hired more than 100 nurses to help with that volume, and it’s certainly helped this year.”

READ MORE: PRHC introduces new Smilezone area in pediatric outpatient clinic

While the hospital is prepared, it is reminding residents to go to their family doctors for non-emergency situations.

“We certainly need to use our emergency department wisely.  We have to reach out to our family health teams, when appropriate,” added Bennett. “Here’s our chance to still get our flu shot. There’s still time.”