simcoe and muskoka regions with health unit locations
print header

Newsroom

Inquiries from members of the media can be directed to [email protected] or

705-721-7520 ext. 8533.

Influenza rapidly rising in Simcoe Muskoka

Jan 11, 2024
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – With cases of seasonal influenza (flu) continuing to rise in Simcoe Muskoka the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) strongly recommends using multiple layers of protection, including getting vaccinated, to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect against severe illness.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – With cases of seasonal influenza (flu) continuing to rise in Simcoe Muskoka the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) strongly recommends using multiple layers of protection, including getting vaccinated, to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect against severe illness.

Since the beginning of the 2023-2024 flu season in December, there have been 387 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in our region, with 137 of those cases occurring during the week of Jan. 1, 2024. This is higher than during the same week last year. It is anticipated that the number of cases of influenza will continue to increase until it peaks in the next two to four weeks. Additionally, the COVID-19 community risk level has been and continues to be high since Nov. 23.

This year’s influenza vaccine appears to be a very good match to the circulating influenza A strains and there is still time to get immunized. Vaccination against seasonal influenza remains the most effective way to prevent or reduce the severity and duration of the disease and reduce the risk of needing medical attention or hospitalization due to flu-related complications. Individuals two years of age and older can receive their flu vaccine at participating local pharmacies and some health care providers. Children aged six months to two years may receive the flu vaccine from a doctor, nurse, or health unit clinic by appointment

In addition to getting vaccinated, it is important to layer protective measures to prevent illness by staying home when you are sick with any symptoms of respiratory illness and keeping children home from school or child care if they are ill, cleaning hands and disinfecting high-touch surfaces frequently, and wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings, especially if you are at higher risk of severe infection.

In addition to influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continue to circulate. The protective measures for influenza will also help to prevent illness from these viruses. COVID-19 XBB vaccine is available for individuals aged six months and older free of charge at participating local pharmacies and some health care providers if it has been six months since your last COVID-19 infection or vaccination.

The health unit also recommends that individuals be aware of the COVID-19 Community Risk Level and Weekly Respiratory Virus Update to assess their own personal circumstances that could put them at higher risk and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and others against transmission and severe illness.

For more information about influenza, COVID-19 and immunization, visit our website or contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

-30-

Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...