Health Unit confirms first local flu case
Flu season is officially here, with the first lab-confirmed case of influenza showing up in this region.
According to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, the first locally-acquired influenza case of the 2018/19 flu season has been confirmed in a person living in the Health Unit region (the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County). The local finding is no surprise, say local health officials, given that influenza activity is increasing in many parts of Canada.
“Typically, we see flu activity start to ramp up in mid- to late-November, and that is what we are again experiencing this year,” said Marianne Rock, manager, health protection division, with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Now that we know flu is circulating in our area, we encourage local residents to take precautions and protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming sick.”
Getting the flu vaccine is highly recommended for anyone six months of age and older since it is one of the best ways to fight influenza, Rock added. Locally, people can get flu vaccine from their health care providers or pharmacy. A full list of pharmacies offering flu shots in the area is available on the Health Unit’s website (www.hkpr.on.ca).
“Getting the flu vaccine early enough is important, as it can take a week or two for the antibodies to develop in the body to offer full protection against influenza,” Rock said. “With the holiday season on the horizon, getting the flu vaccine is also advised to stay healthy and reduce the spread of illness when getting together with family or friends.”
To further stop the spread of flu, the Health Unit also recommends people:
- Wash their hands thoroughly and often.
- Sneeze and cough into their sleeves
- Stay home from work and school if they are sick.
- Keep their body’s immune system strong by eating well, getting sufficient sleep and being physically active on a regular basis.
Influenza virus spreads mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People can become infected by touching objects or surfaces with flu viruses on them and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme weakness and fatigue. Individuals who are most vulnerable to flu include older adults, very young children and people with compromised immune systems.