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Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has announced the first confirmed case of influenza B in Windsor-Essex County.

Last year, there were 160 lab confirmed cases of influenza and 6 deaths attributed to influenza, with the first case being reported on October 21, 2016.

The Health Unit is reminding everyone that the best way to protect against the influenza virus and lower your risk of flu is to get the flu vaccine.

“The province is bracing for a challenging flu season” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, acting Medical Officer of Health. According to the latest reports from the Canadian Flu Watch program, “the percentage of laboratory tests positive for influenza remains higher for this time of year compared to previous seasons”.

The Health Unit cautions that while most people feel healthy, the flu shot has benefits that extend beyond our own immune systems. If people get the flu shot every year, the likelihood of getting the flu is reduced, and that means people are unlikely to spread the disease to family, friends and into the community.  It is highly recommended that people protect themselves and the ones they love by getting vaccinated.

The flu vaccine is free for people who work, live or study in Ontario. There are a number of ways for residents to get their influenza vaccine:

Influenza (the flu) is a virus that causes an infection of the nose, throat and lungs and is easily spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. The flu virus can also live on surfaces for several hours which can cause you to get sick by touching your nose or eyes after touching a contaminated surface. Symptoms start one to three days after being exposed and individuals with flu can spread the virus before they experience symptoms.

The flu can affect anyone, including those who are healthy, but people at higher risk of serious complications are:

  • young children
  • babies under 6 months of age (who are unable to get the vaccine)
  • adults aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • those living with a chronic health conditions (such as asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, heart disease).

To prevent getting or spreading the flu:

  • everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine every year
  • keep hands clean with thorough and frequent hand washing
  • cough and sneeze into your arm
  • keep hands away from your face
  • keep common surface areas clean and disinfected
  • if you or your child is sick, stay home

Lower your risk and the risk of those around you and get the flu vaccine. The best time to get vaccinated is now.

For more information on Influenza or to find a flu vaccine location, please visit our flu page.

Media Contact
Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)
news@wechu.org