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Thunder Bay Hospital Relaxes H1N1 “Visitor Restrictions


THUNDER BAY, ON  -----  November 13, 2009   -----  FluWatch report for the week ending November 7, 2009  (week 44)

• Nationally, there was a considerable increase in the influenza activity level reported this week with a proportion of positive influenza tests of more than 38%, the national ILI consultation rate of almost 100 per 1,000 patient visits, 25 regions reporting widespread activity and over 750 influenza outbreaks reported. This increased activity occurred in almost all provinces and territories.
• The Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 strain accounted for nearly 100% (99.8%) of the positive influenza A subtyped specimens.
• The intensity of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in the population was high with 1,324 hospitalizations and 35 deaths reported this week. Hospitalized cases were reported in all provinces and territories that sent the weekly data2 except MB and NU while the deaths were from all P/T except NB, PE, NT and NU. From August 30 to November 7, 2009, a total of 2,295 hospitalized cases including 317 cases admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) (13.8%) as well as 59 deaths had been reported. Numbers of new deaths were four times higher than last week.
• So far, the proportion of severe cases (ICU admissions and deaths) among all hospitalized cases was lower than in the period up to August 29, 2009.
• The activity levels reported during the previous weeks were even higher than the peak period of the first wave (e.g. the three first weeks of June, 2009).

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus Surveillance and Epidemiology
A total of 3,764 hospitalized cases including 606 cases admitted to ICU and 295 cases required ventilation as well as 135 deaths of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 were reported to PHAC as of November 7, 2009. Core data was available for 3,354 (89.1%) hospitalizations, 590 (97.4%) ICU admissions and 131 (97.0%) deaths. There was a four-fold increase in the number of deaths (35 vs. 8) and a two-fold increase in the number of hospitalizations (1,324 vs. 661) and ICU admissions (163 vs. 93) reported during week 44 as compared to week 43. The activity levels reported during the previous weeks were even higher than the peak period of the first wave (e.g. the three first weeks of June, 2009).
There has been a decrease in severity of the hospitalized cases in the last 2 months. The proportion of ICU admitted patients was 19.7% in the period before August 29, 2009 compared to 13.8% in the period from August 30 to November 7, 2009. As well, the proportion of fatal cases among hospitalized cases had also decreased from 5.1% to 2.6%. Comparing the same 2 periods, fewer pregnant women among women of reproductive age and fewer people of Aboriginal origin were hospitalized and admitted to ICU during the last 2 months.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre - Relaxes H1N1 “Visitor Restrictions”

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is noticing a gradual decline in patient pressures on the Emergency Department and in-patient admissions with a Febrile Respiratory Illness when compared to the peaks in activity in recent weeks.   Therefore, visitor restrictions are being reduced as of 6:00 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009.

“We cannot thank the public enough for assisting us in dealing with the serious nature of this situation," said Ron Saddington, President and CEO at TBRHSC.  “It is through the efforts of the community as a whole that we have been able to respond to this surge in patient care needs.” 

Lori Marshall is the Vice President, Medicine, Cardiology, Mental Health and Maternal/Child Services.  She cautions that "While we are encouraged by these trends, visitor restrictions will remain in place for patients in the Intensive Care Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and for patients throughout the facility who may be in isolation.
The purpose of the restriction is to ensure that the health and protection of our patients and staff members is maintained."   

Kay Cranston, Infection Control Coordinator stresses “We request that individuals who are not feeling well delay their visit to a patient until they are feeling better.”  Likewise, TBRHSC continues to discourage visiting by those under 18 at this time. 

All public entrances will be re-opened and active screening will be maintained at the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit entrances. 

The Health Sciences Centre is working very closely with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.  People are reminded that hand-washing is the best defense against the spread of infection.  The public are encouraged to be vaccinated.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre thanks you for your co-operation, and will continue to provide updates on its website.
Please visit

For Ontario Swine Flu H1N1 Map of cases by Health Unit visit

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