The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has put visitor restrictions in place in the neonatal intensive care units at HSC Winnipeg to prevent the spread of influenza.
Flu season is well underway, despite the warmer than normal winter temperatures, affecting babies with severe respiratory infections such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“These types of respiratory infections can be very serious and may require hospitalization and even intensive care,” said Dr. Aaron Chiu, RSV specialist and physician with WRHA Child Health Program and HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital.
“Babies younger than 12 months old are most vulnerable to contracting RSV bronchiolitis, which is an infection of the small airways in the lungs.”
Visitors who are unwell and children who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations, or are under the age of five, are asked not to visit the NICU.
Officials say the easiest way to prevent the spread of the virus is to frequently wash your hands, especially after touching your face, your child’s face, another person who is ill, or sharing items with someone who is sick.