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- Health Unit Offers Additional Flu Shot Clinics in Port Hope and Lindsay as H1N1 Strain of Influenza Found in Area -

Two additional flu shot clinics are being offered in Port Hope and Lindsay in the coming days to help combat the H1N1 flu virus now circulating in the area.

As of today (January 2), the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reports 11 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the 2013-14 flu season in its area, which includes Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. At least three of the local flu cases are confirmed to be the H1N1 form of influenza – the main strain of flu that is increasingly being detected this year in Ontario and across the country.

“H1N1 is proving to be the predominant strain of influenza that we are seeing so far this flu season, both in our region and across the province,” says Linda McCarey, the Director of Communicable Disease Control with the HKPR District Health Unit. “While influenza generally affects older adults, the H1N1 strain frequently causes serious illness in younger people as well. For that reason, we are especially encouraging healthy adults and families with young children to get a free flu shot.”

Children under five years of age are already at high risk of getting sick from influenza. According to the Health Unit, young children may be even more vulnerable to H1N1 since they would not have been exposed to this flu strain that first circulated during the 2009/10 flu season. McCarey says this year’s flu vaccine contains protection against H1N1, so it is well-suited to help people ward off getting sick from influenza.

“It’s the case this year where there is an excellent match between the flu vaccine and the H1N1 strain of influenza now circulating, so it is even more important to get a flu shot,” McCarey says. “The flu shot is safe and effective, and there are still opportunities to get a free flu shot in your community.”

The special flu shot clinics being offered by the Health Unit in Port Hope and Lindsay later this month are particularly geared to families with children six months of age and older. The flu shot clinics are being offered by appointment as follows:

  • In Lindsay on Thursday, January 9, from 1 to 3 pm at the Health Unit office (108 Angeline Street South). People are asked to book an appointment by calling the Health Unit’s Lindsay office at (705) 324-3569 or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.
  • In Port Hope on Tuesday, January 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the Health Unit office (200 Rose Glen Road). People can book an appointment by calling the Health Unit office in Port Hope at (905) 885-9100 or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.

In addition to these Health Unit clinics, local residents have other options to get a flu shot. People can check with their health care provider about getting a flu shot for anyone six months of age and older. Many pharmacies in the area are also providing flu shots to everyone five years of age and older. A full listing of local pharmacies offering flu shots is available at www.hkpr.on.ca.

To further stop the spread of flu, the Health Unit recommends people wash their hands thoroughly and often, sneeze and cough into their sleeves, and stay home from work and holiday parties if they are sick. Eating well, getting sufficient sleep and being physically active on a regular basis also helps keep the body’s immune system strong.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Linda McCarey, Director of Communicable Disease Control, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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