First influenza cases of the season reported in Middlesex-London
London Community News
The Middlesex-London Health Unit announced Wednesday (Nov. 14) that it had received laboratory confirmation of three cases of influenza A.
Public health staff will continue to monitor the situation closely to determine if the cases indicate an early start to the flu season. With the arrival of the virus in the community, the health unit is recommending that those who have not yet done so, get their annual flu shot.
In a news release from the health unit, Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, acting Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said the best way for the public to prepare themselves for the arrival of the virus to receive a flu shot.
“The free vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. It is recommended for everyone six months of age and older,” Warshawsky said. “The health unit still has several community clinics during November and the vaccine is also available from some health care providers and pharmacies.”
By being immunized against influenza, the health unit officials say individuals not only protect themselves from becoming ill, they also prevent the virus from spreading to others, including very young children, seniors and those with underlying medical conditions, all of who are among those most vulnerable to the complications of the flu. In addition to getting the annual flu shot, the spread of influenza can be prevented by coughing into your upper arm, washing your hands frequently with pump soap and water or an alcohol-based waterless hand sanitizer, and by staying home if you become ill.
Influenza is a seasonal virus that tends to peak in the winter months. Common symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. Individuals of any age can get influenza, however the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions, children less than five years of age, pregnant women, aboriginal people and those who are obese, are at higher risk of developing complications associated with the flu, such as pneumonia that could lead to hospitalizations, and could be fatal.
A complete list of the health unit’s Community Influenza Vaccination Clinics is available at: www.healthunit.com/article.aspx?ID=18400.
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