FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2019: Locally, there have already been two confirmed cases of the flu in children. Public Health is distributing the flu vaccine to physicians now. Pharmacies will receive vaccine from the Ministry of Health in November.
“Influenza is in the community. Get your shot as soon as possible. Children under 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions should get their flu shot now,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “If you are age 65 or older contact your family doctor or come to a Public Health clinic to receive the high dose seniors’ vaccine.”
The flu shot offers protection from several common strains of the flu virus. It is very safe and is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting the flu. There is also a vaccine for seniors which is stronger to support the immune system of people over 65 years of age. The seniors’ vaccine is only available from your doctor or from Public Health. It will not be available at pharmacies.
The symptoms associated with the flu range from unpleasant to very serious. For those who become infected with the flu, most will spend a week or more at home recovering. The most common flu symptoms are fever and cough but headache, chills, sore throat, and muscle pain are also common.
Every year, approximately 23,000 Canadians become seriously ill from the flu and require hospitalization. Between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians, mostly the elderly and high-risk patients, will die from the flu and its complications.
The flu is spread directly from one person to another when infected people cough or sneeze. It can also be spread when a person touches surfaces that are infected with the virus (e.g., toys, cell phones, and doorknobs). The flu can spread to others even before symptoms appear and before someone knows they are getting sick. To avoid infecting other people, especially seniors and infants get your flu shot.
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