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Public Service Announcement

Flu cases picking up pace locally

Dec 17, 2014
With more cases of influenza showing up locally, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising residents to make sure they are taking precautions to avoid illness.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA — With more cases of influenza showing up locally, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising residents to make sure they are taking precautions to avoid illness.

Flu activity in our region is still being described as “localized,” slightly behind what has already become an increasingly busy season in the larger urban centres in Southern Ontario.

 With the festive season just days away, the health unit is urging everyone to make sure they are immunized against the flu.

 “When families get together over the holidays, it creates an ideal opportunity for the flu to find new ways of spreading,” said Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner. “When people get the flu shot, they’re not just protecting themselves; they’re preventing the virus from spreading to the rest of the family or to co-workers, particularly those who have medical conditions.”

 The vaccine this year offers protection against three strains of flu virus. The strain of flu most commonly circulating right now—the A(H3N2) strain—is slightly different from the one included in the vaccine, meaning it may not be as effective as most years.

 For those who have been immunized but develop the flu, the symptoms will likely be less severe. As well, the flu shot will also protect against the H1N1 and an influenza B strain circulating this season.

 “Our message about the vaccine remains the same,” Dr. Gardner said. “The flu shot is your best protection against the flu and we recommend it for everyone 6 months of age and older.”

 The flu shot is available through personal health care professionals and at more than 100 pharmacies in Simcoe and Muskoka.

More information is available on the health unit’s website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

 

 

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