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Increased activity of flu in Niagara

Niagara Region Public Health is seeing a recent increase in influenza activity in the community. This increase in flu is likely due to the elimination of measures to prevent COVID-19, as those measures were also suppressing flu.

The flu is a respiratory illness that causes sudden onset of fever, coughing, sore throat, chills, headache, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and muscle pains. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, or coming into contact with surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. Severe cases can lead to serious breathing problems or pneumonia. On average, 1,400 Ontarians die each year of influenza.

The most vulnerable groups are

  • Adults over 65 years old
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Young children
  • Pregnant individuals
  • Indigenous people

Because the flu and COVID-19 have many of the same symptoms, it is often difficult to know which illness they are caused by. Regardless of which illness it is, those experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and follow current Public Health guidance to protect others from either of these infections.

To help limit the spread of the flu and prevent getting sick, the same measures that prevent COVID-19 should be practiced:

  • Wear a mask
  • Get vaccinated
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Clean your hands regularly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cough into your elbow, arm/sleeve or tissue
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces regularly

It is not too late to get your flu shot! Public Health is encouraging all eligible residents, six months of age and older, who have not received their flu shot this season to get a flu shot by visiting a participating pharmacy or primary care provider. It is recommended that residents call their local pharmacy to ensure the availability of the flu vaccine before arriving. Public Health is not holding community flu clinics or offering flu appointments for residents at this time.

Those who require medical attention should visit an urgent care centre, walk-in clinic, or a health care professional. Public Health is advising residents to avoid visiting friends and family in long-term care facilities or hospitals if you are ill with the flu or have flu-like symptoms.

Information about flu and weekly flu activity can be found on Activity will be updated every Friday during the months of November to May.

For more information, call Niagara Region Public Health Infectious Diseases program at 905-688-8248, ext. 7554 or toll free 1-888-505-6074.

Media Inquiries

Alexandra Rankin
Niagara Region

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