print header

News Release

Flu cases increase, but "still average" in Simcoe Muskoka

Jan 03, 2014
Flu vaccine is still available in ample supply in Simcoe and Muskoka, the local health unit says. With the flu season picking up pace locally, getting the shot is still recommended, says Heidi Pitfield, acting manager of the communicable disease surveillance unit of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Jan. 3, 2013 -- Flu vaccine is still available in ample supply in Simcoe and Muskoka, the local health unit says.

With the flu season picking up pace locally, getting the shot is still recommended, says Heidi Pitfield, acting manager of the communicable disease surveillance unit of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

The vaccine is an excellent match this year, as it includes protection against the H1N1 strain that has been dominant across the country.

The health unit’s surveillance team is continuing with its annual monitoring of influenza. To date, the activity has been slightly lower than the five-year average in the region. As of 4 p.m. on January 3, there had been 69 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, with the majority of them being the H1N1 strain.

Pitfield reassured that while the H1N1 virus is the same one that caused a global pandemic in 2009, the public now has a defence against it in a proven vaccine.

“We now consider H1N1 to be a seasonal flu strain just like other seasonal flu strains,” Pitfield said. “Still, any strain of influenza can cause serious illness or even death. Annual immunization and personal protection are very important to prevent the spread of the flu.”

Pitfield also pointed out that many people confuse the common cold with influenza. Like the cold, influenza will cause coughing and runny nose, but symptoms also include headaches, high fever, weakness, body aches and extreme fatigue – and it can last for many more days than a common cold. For vulnerable people, such as young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, it can weaken the body, allowing secondary infections such as pneumonia.

The vaccine is available at 72 pharmacies in Simcoe and Muskoka, as well as from personal physicians. A list of the participating pharmacies is available on the health unit’s website at http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Libraries/TOPIC_Immunization/2014_01_08_pharmacy_flu_shot_list.sflb.ashx.

People can also get more information about the flu and the vaccine by calling Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

 


-30-

Did you find what you were looking for?
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 ...