Dr. Mark Vooght, medical health officer for the Five Hills Health Region.
Flu outbreaks are at their peak right now, and Canada is experiencing a shortage of a flu drug.
“The supply of the antiviral called Tamiflu is assured for the province of Saskatchewan,” said Five Hills Health Region chief medical officer Dr. Mark Vooght. “We have respiratory outbreaks at the moment and these include influenza outbreaks. We’ve got four outbreaks ongoing at this point in time.”
He said the outbreaks are at the Central Butte Regency Hospital, the Raphael Wing of Providence Place with influenza A, the Extendicare special needs unit with influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and five of 10 cottages at the Valley View Centre. Those cottages are the Poplar, Emerald, Oak, Swallow and Iroquois and the outbreaks are influenza A and adenovirus.
“For that and other affected wings in affected long-term care facilities, we distribute Tamiflu as clinically appropriate. In other words, those with recent onset of disease,” said Vooght. “Others in the ward that are currently well — in other words, no signs of influenza — we give them Tamiflu prevention. So that works pretty well as long as we’re informed very early on as soon as there’s an outbreak.”
He said signs of influenza in those facilites are a cough, fever and sore throat for two or more patients. He said Tamiflu is only effective for influenza A or B.
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.