Influenza Arrives in Perth County. Flu Shots Widely Available

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Perth County – Influenza has arrived in Perth County. While there are currently fewer than five lab-confirmed cases of influenza, many people who are sick are not sick enough to be hospitalized and tested. Therefore, the lab-confirmed cases may only represent a small number of people who have the flu.

“The flu has been circulating in other parts of the province for the last couple of weeks so we are not surprised to see it here,” says Jennifer Beaver, Public Health Nurse. Flu season in Canada usually runs from November to April.

The Health Unit is urging people who are sick to stay home. “Staying home will help stop the spread of the flu to people who may be more susceptible to complications,” says Beaver. People who are ill are especially urged to avoid visiting long-term care homes or hospitals until they are well again.

The flu shot is the best protection against the flu.  Flu shots are currently available at:

  • Family doctor’s offices – ages 6 months and over
  • Pharmacies across Perth County – 5 years of age and older
  • Clinic by appointment at the Perth District Health Unit in Stratford (653 West Gore St.) – for children under 5 and their families:
      • Tuesday, November 20: 4-8pm
      • To book an appointment: go to www.pdhu.on.ca/flushot2018 or call Health Line at 519-271-7600 extension 267 or toll-free 1-877-271-7348 extension 267.

 

Vaccine Availability

Children who are ages 2 -17 have the option of FluMist, a nasal spray of live influenza vaccine that protects against four strains of influenza. FluMist is available through your family doctor’s office, some pharmacies, and at the clinic at the Perth District Health Unit. However, quantities are limited and based on vaccine availability.

People over age 65 have the option of the high-dose trivalent vaccine or the standard-dose quadrivalent vaccine. For information on these vaccines, visit: www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/flu/uiip/ or call Health Line to discuss your options with a Public Health Nurse.

 

Healthy Habits

To protect against the flu and help stop the spread of influenza in the community, the Health Unit advises all residents to take these precautions:

  • Wash hands with soap thoroughly and often
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve
  • Keep surfaces and items disinfected
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Get a flu shot.

 

For more information:

  • Call Health Line at 519-271-7600 extension 267 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 extension 267
  • Visit pdhu.on.ca
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