Manitoba hospitals seeing surge expecting rise in respiratory illness

On December 28, 2023 / News

Pharmacies are trying to help with a spike in respiratory illnesses as intensive care units burst with patients.

Cold medicines may not have been on most people's Christmas lists, but at one pharmacy this holiday season - it's selling fast. Brett Roeland, the co-owner of Northway Pharmacy Brothers on Selkirk Avenue said over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen are in high demand.

"It's been very busy in the pharmacy,” Roeland said between greeting coughing patients. “A lot of people have been suffering from a wide range of illnesses, especially the flu, COVID, things like that."

Sometimes people come in with more than just the sniffles. Roeland said many people in the area seek pharmacist advice before going to a doctor.

"See if there might be something they can self treat with some over-the-counter medications,” he said. “Or maybe it's something that requires a visit to a doctor, maybe even something a little bit more severe that they might need to go to the emergency room."

The latest data from the province shows that between Dec. 10 and 16, there were 2,200 respiratory visits to emergency departments - which means hospital capacity is stretched thin.

Read full article by CTV News here!