A rising number of people with flu symptoms showing up at Winnipeg hospitals has health officials pumping more staff and resources into the system.
"Over-capacity protocols" are kicking in, said Krista Williams, chief health operations officer for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
The protocols include opening additional acute care beds and bringing in more staff, said Williams, a nurse.
Of 110 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in the city, 60 people are in hospital, including 10 in intensive care, Williams said Tuesday at a WRHA press conference.
Just days before Christmas, the WRHA said the severity of the symptoms of this year’s flu meant more cases were coming to emergency wards and more people with flu were in the intensive care unit and inpatient areas, straining the capacity of city hospitals. Due to the higher rates of admission, the inpatient units were full.
"It is creating an over-capacity situation in our emergency areas, resulting in longer lengths of stay and longer wait time," a WRHA spokeswoman said.
At that time, Manitoba had reached its highest number of cases in a week for 2017, with a total of 130. There had been five cases in the province’s intensive care units and a total of six outbreaks this season.
On Tuesday, Williams urged Winnipeggers to take precautions to avoid catching and spreading the flu: get a flu shot, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay away from gatherings if you're sick.