Influenza Confirmed in Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts

The Sudbury & District Health Unit is reporting the first confirmed cases of influenza infection in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.

Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease of the respiratory tract. Symptoms include high fever, headache, sore throat, cough, and muscle aches and pains. Children may also have mild stomach upset. The most common symptoms usually include a runny nose and cough.

“Although these are the first two cases reported to the Health Unit this season, influenza cases have been confirmed in other parts of the province,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with the Sudbury & District Health Unit.

In Ontario a total of 342 confirmed cases of influenza have been reported for the 2014-2015 season to date. The majority of cases were influenza A.

Tests have confirmed that the two local cases reported are influenza type A. The annual influenza vaccine contains strains of  influenza type A (H3N2 and H1N1) and influenza type B.

“Although testing so far this year has shown that the vaccine is not optimally matched to the H3N2 virus, the flu shot remains the best way to protect against the flu”, said Dr. Sutcliffe. “The vaccine will provide some protection against the H3N2 strain and also against the other two flu strains that are circulating in Ontario.”

While everyone is at risk of the flu and its complications, seniors, very young children, and people with chronic medical conditions can experience more severe illness and hospitalizations. To date, the majority of cases reported in Canada have been among seniors over the age of 65.

Anyone who has symptoms should stay away from vulnerable people and places such as hospitals, long-term care homes, and daycares to avoid spreading the virus.

Protect your loved ones from the spread of the flu by:

  • getting your flu shot
  • cleaning your hands often
  • covering your nose and mouth with the bend of your arm when coughing or sneezing
  • not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands
  • staying home when sick with flu symptoms to get better faster and avoid spreading the flu to others

Free flu shots are available by appointment at all Health Unit locations, with drop-in services possible at the main Sudbury office at 1300 Paris Street. The free flu shot is also available at participating pharmacies, walk-in clinics, community health centres, and your health care provider’s office.