Emergency Departments (ED) in the Greater Toronto Area typically experience higher patient volumes in December. This is partly attributed to the annual flu season, which often peaks during the holidays. This year will be no exception.
The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) would like to remind the community that ED patients are seen on a triaged basis, which means the most serious cases are seen first. If your health care needs are not an emergency, there are other health care providers and options available in the community that may be more appropriate, including:
- Family physicians
- Urgent Care, Walk-in, or After Hours Clinics
- Telehealth Ontario(call toll-free to speak to a Registered Nurse at 1-866-797-0000 or TTY: 1-866-797-0007)
Visiting Patients at TSH
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, head ache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, nasal congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should avoid visiting patients at the hospital. Instead, consider sending them a card or email, or give them a call. This will prevent the transmission of your cold/flu symptoms to hospital patients and staff.
Protecting Yourself and Others
The best way to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot, which is available from most family physician offices, community health centres, walk-in clinics, and pharmacies. The flu shot is your best line of defense against the flu, and by getting your shot, you’re also helping to protect your family and friends. Check out TSH’s 2015 Stick It to the Flu campaign video to learn more.
Proper hand hygiene goes a long way to help keep yourself and others healthy. Washing with soap and water for at least 15 seconds helps prevent the spread of the flu virus, which can live on your hands for up to three hours. If your hands are not visibly soiled, hand sanitizer is another effective way to keep your hands germ-free. Using a dime-sized amount of sanitizer, rub your hands together, and continue until the sanitizer is dry.
For more information on health care options and the flu, visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s web pages: