Winnipeg Hospitals Seeing Spike in Flu-Related Visits

(Woman recovering from the flu image via Shutterstock)

WINNIPEG — Emergency rooms at Winnipeg hospitals are feeling the strain of the seasonal flu as more patients flock to ERs for treatment.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is experiencing a significant increase in the number of people visiting hospitals with influenza-like illnesses in recent days.

More than 900 people visited emergency rooms in a single day over the weekend. That’s up from approximately 700-750 visits per day.

The WRHA says about 10 to 12 percent of patients who visit an ER are admitted, but increased levels have put the admission rate at 20 percent.

“Over the last several days, demand on the health system has increased significantly,” said Lori Lamont, vice-president and chief nursing officer with the WRHA. “We want to assure Winnipeggers and Manitobans those with serious injuries and illnesses will continue to be seen quickly across Winnipeg’s six emergency departments.”

Lamont says the WRHA is adding medical staff to respond to the demand, but suggests people visit their family doctor’s office first or a QuickCare clinic.

“As always, if anyone feels their health situation is an emergency, please don’t hesitate to go to the nearest emergency department,” Lamont added.

Emergency room wait times can be found on the WRHA’s website.