News Release: Flu Season is Here!
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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | Windsor-Essex County
Flu season is here and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) urges everyone over the age of 6 months to get their annual flu shot. The annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, and those around you, from the influenza virus.
Yearly, the flu results in approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes are at a greater risk of serious illness from complications of influenza. Last year’s flu season saw 157 lab-confirmed cases of influenza in Windsor and Essex County. To date there have been no confirmed cases of influenza this season.
The flu vaccine is developed to match the most common strains of the influenza virus, which changes from year to year. Therefore, it is important to get the flu shot every season. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health of the WECHU, reminds residents that, “the flu vaccine is safe and it is now readily available in our community”. The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus and will not cause the flu. It is widely available from participating pharmacies, health care providers, and walk-in clinics. Please note that pharmacies are only able to immunize individuals that are 5 years of age and older.
Flu symptoms are more severe than a cold and typically include the sudden onset of fever, cough, and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, chills, loss of appetite, fatigue, and a sore throat. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.
Getting the flu shot is the best protection against getting or spreading the flu. Other important measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the influenza virus include washing your hands often, cleaning and disinfecting touchable surfaces, sneezing and coughing into ones sleeve or a tissue, not touching your face, and staying home when you’re sick.
To learn more about ways to stop the spread of the influenza virus, visit https://www.wechu.org/flu or speak with your local health care provider or pharmacist.
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)