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Medical Officer declares community-wide flu activity

Jan 16, 2017
Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner has issued a declaration of widespread influenza activity in Simcoe Muskoka.

Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner has issued a declaration of widespread influenza activity in Simcoe Muskoka.

The formal declaration, which includes informing the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Public Health Ontario of the local situation, serves to communicate to health care partners the need to enact policies and strategies to control the further spread of influenza, particularly within health care facilities.

Dr. Gardner explained that the declaration comes after assessing influenza activity in the community, a process that looks at emergency department visits, lab-confirmed cases of influenza, institutional outbreaks and physician reports of fever and influenza-like illness.

With widespread influenza now in the community, the general public should be even more vigilant in protecting themselves against influenza using the following measures.

Ensure the entire family is vaccinated annually against the flu. This year’s vaccine provides a close match to the circulating H3N2 flu strain. It will also provide protection against influenza B, which often appears later in the season.

Other prevention measures include frequent hand washing, staying home and avoiding contact with other people when ill; and practising good sleep and nutrition habits.

Call your doctor or health care provider if:    

    • you don’t start to feel better after a few days,
    • your symptoms get worse,
    • you have medical conditions and develop flu symptoms,
    • you can also call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 to talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More information about influenza is available on the health unit’s website at

www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1- 877-721-7520 weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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