The Peterborough County-City Health Unit has reported the first local lab-confirmed case of seasonal influenza.
“The case is lab-confirmed for influenza B, and we now know that seasonal influenza is circulating in our local population,” says Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Usually there are more cases of influenza in the community than are reported by the lab, so we strongly encourage residents to get their flu shot to protect themselves and others —it’s not too late.”
Dr. Salvaterra explains that this year’s flu vaccine is a good match to the strains that are known to be circulating in Ontario, according to the latest reports from Public Health Ontario.
“The match is even better for kids who received the publicly funded quadrivalent vaccine, available in both nasal spray and needle,” she says.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age. It is especially important for people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and anyone who takes care of people in these groups.
Flu shots are widely available at many local pharmacies, from physician offices, and local walk-in clinics.
The Health Unit is also offering an influenza vaccine clinic at its new location at Jackson Square, 185 King St. by appointment, on Saturday, January 16th, 2016, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
To book an appointment, call 705-743-1000, ext. 349. Walk-ins are also welcome between 9 and 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 16th. Clinic services is located on the first floor.
Dr. Salvaterra also advises that, in addition to getting the flu shot, people should take the following precautions to reduce the spread of infection:
- Stay home if feeling unwell
- Wash your hands frequently
- Clean and sanitize commonly-used surfaces frequently
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue and wash your hands afterwards.