First case of flu confirmed in Niagara
Niagara Region Public Health is reporting the first laboratory confirmed case of flu for the season in Niagara.
With COVID-19 still circulating in the community, everyone is encouraged to take the following steps to prevent getting or spreading the flu, COVID-19, or other respiratory infections that are widespread during colder months:
- Wear a mask indoors and in large outdoor crowds
- Stay home if you are sick
- Get up to date with all vaccines, including the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine if eligible, and the flu shot once available
- Spend time outdoors or in well-ventilated indoor spaces
- Clean your hands regularly
- Cough into your elbow, arm/sleeve or tissue
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces regularly
“The southern hemisphere saw an unusually early and unusually strong flu season, and this first flu case may indicate a similar experience for Niagara,” said Dr. Joanne Kearon, Resident Physician with Niagara Region Public Health. “With the relaxation of most measures to prevent COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory viruses can be expected to make a strong come-back this fall alongside another surge of COVID-19. Being up-to-date on vaccines, wearing masks, and staying home when sick will keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy.”
The flu is a respiratory illness which causes fevers, coughing, sore throat, body aches and pains, as well as severe illness, and is more common among children and the elderly. Respiratory illnesses spread both through the air from breathing and talking, through droplets we expel by coughing or sneezing, and through contact with surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. The elderly, children, and persons with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of severe health outcomes.
Flu vaccine will be available in October for high risk people such as those who are pregnant, the elderly, young children, Indigenous people, and those with chronic health conditions. We expect flu vaccine to be available for everyone by the beginning of November. Flu vaccine can be accessed through pharmacies, primary care, and some Public Health clinics. Public Health encourages everyone, six months of age and older, to get their flu shot this fall. The flu vaccine is important to protect both you, but also those around you, particularly children and the elderly. The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, so there is no time interval that is required to wait between doses.
Anyone with question about COVID-19 vaccines can call the COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074, press 7.
Niagara Region Public Health
905-688-8248 ext. 7303
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