Issued: Friday, November 3, 2017
The first laboratory confirmed case of influenza A virus has been reported in the Greater Sudbury area, and the Sudbury & District Health Unit is encouraging everyone to get their flu shot early. To date in Canada, 524 cases of influenza have been confirmed.
“The flu shot is safe, free, widely available, and is proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to flu,” said Kim Presta, a manager in the Health Unit’s Clinical Services Division. “Be sure to get your flu shot early because it can take up to two weeks to take effect,” said Presta.
The flu vaccine is free and protects against influenza A and influenza B: the two strains that cause seasonal epidemics of disease. In addition, nasal spray vaccine is also available for children and youth aged 2 to 17 years.
Important things to remember
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if soap and water is not available.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Stay at home when you’re sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and shared items.
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue. Most people will recover from influenza infection within a week to 10 days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications such as pneumonia. Children can also have mild stomach upset due to influenza. The most common symptoms usually include fever, runny nose, and cough.
The influenza vaccine is readily available at many locations throughout the community including local pharmacies and health care providers’ offices. In addition, the Health Unit offers the vaccine at many of its office sites by appointment.
For more information about the influenza vaccine, ways to prevent getting sick, as well as how to treat mild symptoms at home, visit the Health Unit’s website at www.sdhu.com or call 705.522.9200, ext. 301 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).