The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reports that the first confirmed case of influenza for this season was received Nov. 27, 2019.
The HNHU would like to remind everyone that the flu shot is the best protection against getting the influenza virus, commonly known as the flu. Anyone can get the flu, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly, children and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include cough, fever, body aches and extreme exhaustion. The flu virus changes frequently, so you need to get the vaccine every year.
The flu spreads from an infected person through coughing or sneezing. The virus can live on hard surfaces for several hours and can be spread from surfaces such as toys and door knobs that an infected person has touched.
It’s important to keep in mind that the flu shot is safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers as well as those with an allergy to eggs. Severe reactions are extremely rare – you cannot get the flu from the flu shot.
The flu shot is available from your health care provider, and at participating pharmacies across the province. Be sure to get your flu shot soon, as it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.
In addition to the flu shot, other ways to reduce your risk include frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve rather than your hand and staying home from work or school when you or your child is ill.
For more information about the influenza virus and the flu shot, visit hnhu.org.