Ottawa Public Health: Advisory for Respiratory Illnesses

Ottawa Public Health: Advisory for Respiratory Illnesses
Posted on 12/01/2023
Ottawa Public Health: Advisory for Respiratory Illnesses

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has been preparing for the 2023-2024 respiratory illness season and it is expected that this fall and winter may be challenging with several respiratory viruses circulating at the same time including influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19. It is anticipated that this respiratory season may have higher impacts than usual on the pediatric population and health system capacities. 

OPH has outlined some information and resources below related to measures that you can take to continue keeping yourself, your family and our community safe during this respiratory season. You can visit their respiratory dashboard to see the latest levels of respiratory viruses circulating in our community.

Respiratory Illness Prevention:

  • OPH encourages using the General Self-Assessment Tool to screen yourself and your family daily.
  • Individuals experiencing symptoms should stay home until fever-free (without using fever-reducing medication) AND symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours for vomiting/diarrhea).
  • Wash your hands often (or use hand sanitizer) and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • You can wear a mask to protect yourself from viral respiratory illnesses; protect others at higher risk of severe respiratory illness from getting sick, and when you’re recovering from illness.
  • Individuals with symptoms of respiratory illness should avoid visiting loved ones in long-term care, retirement homes or hospitals, as they are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Annual Flu vaccine and the updated COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older this season. There are many options for getting your vaccines in the community including pharmacies, some primary care providers, such as family doctors and nurse practitioner offices, and Ottawa Public Health community clinics. To learn more about these vaccines, visit
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