The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reports that the first confirmed case of influenza A for this season was received on November 1, 2023. HNHU staff would like to remind residents that the flu shot is the best protection against getting the influenza virus, commonly known as the flu.
“I would encourage everyone to get their flu shot to protect themselves and their loved ones against influenza, I would also recommend that everyone receive their COVID-19 booster if the last COVID vaccine or COVID infection was at least six months ago,” said Dr. Joyce Lock, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “Anyone can get the flu, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems.”
Flu symptoms include cough, fever, body aches, and extreme exhaustion, and spreads through coughing or sneezing. The virus can live on hard surfaces for several hours and spread from surfaces such as toys and door knobs.
The flu shot is available from health care providers, and participating pharmacies across the province. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become effective, so residents are advised to get the shot as soon as it becomes available.
In addition to the flu shot, other ways to reduce risk include:
- frequent hand washing
- coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve
- 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/fall.