Public health officials are urging residents who have not yet received the flu to do so after the first case of influenza A has been confirmed by a laboratory test in the community.
Prior to Christmas, nearly 800 cases of the virus were documented in Ontario, with most of the infections caused by influenza A, according to the publication of Public Health, Sudbury and areas.
"Getting your flu is the most effective way to reduce the spread of flu in our community – it will protect you and others around you," said Kim Presta, manager of the Clinical Services Unit of the health unit, with release. "It may take up to two weeks after being vaccinated to develop ideal protection against influenza, and therefore getting influenza in the wound is so important."
This year, most of the flu vaccines offered in the community protect both types of influenza A and two types of influenza B. "This is different from previous years where one of the adult formulas of the vaccine covered only one type of influenza B," the health unit said.
In addition, a vaccine against nasal spray is free of charge for children and young people aged 2 to 17 years.
"People who are ill with flu or other respiratory infections should stay at home to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly," said PHSD. "Frequent washing of hands and covering coughing and sneezing with tissue or sleeve can also reduce the spread of the flu."
A highly contagious respiratory virus can cause fever, cough, muscle aches and fatigue. Most people will recover from the flu within a week to 10 days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications like pneumonia.
Children may also have a mild stomach upset by an influenza. The most common symptoms usually include fever, runny nose, and cough.
The influenza vaccine is available in many locations throughout the community, including local pharmacies and health service providers. In addition, PHSD offers the vaccine at many of its locations by appointment.
For more information on the influenza vaccine, ways to prevent getting sick, and how to treat mild symptoms at home, visit phsd.ca or call 705-522-9200, ext. 301 (free 1-866-522-9200).