WINNIPEG – Visitor restrictions have been put in place at the Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital following an increase in the number of serious respiratory illness in infants.
Officials say they have seen 45 cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) bronchiolitis since the beginning of September, including 12 in the first week of November.
“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 Children’s. “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 to the pediatric and neo-natal intensive care units will now be restricted to parents or caregivers to help prevent the spread of the virus. There are also asking for no more than two visitors at a time.
Basic hygiene and common sense are the best methods to prevent these infections, Dr. Chiu advised.
“Keep babies away from crowded public areas like shopping malls and schools where there may be people with colds or other illnesses. Most importantly, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Frequent hand washing, especially after touching your face, your child’s face, another person who is ill, or touching things someone who is sick may have touched, is the best way to prevent spreading germs.”