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THE FLU AND YOU

- First Lab-Confirmed Case of Influenza in Region Brings Reminder for People to Get Flu Vaccine -

Influenza is officially here, and so is a reminder from the local Health Unit for people to protect themselves against the flu.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reports the first lab-confirmed case of influenza for the 2017-18 flu season in its area, which includes the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County. The local confirmation was received earlier this week, and reflects a provincial trend that is seeing an increase in lab-confirmed influenza cases across Ontario over the past few weeks.
“It’s the time of year when flu activity ramps up in our area and across Ontario, so it’s extra important for people to protect themselves from illness. One of the best ways to do this is to get the free flu vaccine,” says Marianne Rock, the Manager of Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation with the HKPR District Health Unit.

Flu vaccine is recommended to anyone six months of age and older. To get a flu shot, local residents can visit their health care provider or neighbourhood pharmacy. A full list of local pharmacies offering flu shots is available by visiting the Health Unit’s website.

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 school 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.

“As we head into the holiday season when many people visit and get together with each other, it’s extra important for us to take precautions to protect against flu,” Rock says. “If we want to spread anything to our loved ones at this time of year, let it be holiday cheer – and not illness.”

Influenza virus spreads mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People can become infected by touching objects or surfaces with flu viruses on them and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme weakness and fatigue.

For media inquiries, contact:

Marianne Rock, Manager of Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-477, ext. 1486.

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