Local flu case highlights importance of getting a flu shot

Laboratory testing has confirmed the first case of influenza A infection in the Greater Sudbury area. To date in Ontario, a total of 119 cases have been confirmed (97 influenza type A and 22 influenza type B).

“Annual influenza vaccination is important for everyone; however, it is highly recommended for the elderly and those at risk of serious complications from infection as well as for people who live with or care for high-risk individuals,” said Shannon Dowdall-Smith, manager of Clinical Services with the Sudbury & District Health Unit. “While it may take up to two weeks after being vaccinated to develop ideal protection against influenza, it is not too late to get your flu shot,” said Dowdall-Smith.

The annual influenza vaccine contains protection against strains of influenza type A and B.

People who are ill with influenza or other respiratory infections should stay home to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly. Frequent handwashing can also reduce the spread of influenza.

Influenza is highly contagious, and it is the most serious of a number of respiratory viruses that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches and fatigue. Most people will and recover from influenza infection within a week or 10 days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications such as pneumonia. Children may also have mild stomach upset. The most common symptoms usually include a runny nose and cough.

The influenza vaccine is free and 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—go to www.sdhu.com for details.

More information about the influenza vaccine, ways to prevent getting sick, as well as how to treat mild symptoms at home is also available on the Health Unit’s website or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 301 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on November 30, 2015