The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reports that the first confirmed case of influenza for this season has been identified, the case was received on April 25, 2022.
The influenza virus, commonly known as 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 doorknobs that an infected person has touched. Anyone can get the flu, but it is particularly dangerous for the elderly, children and for those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include cough, fever, body aches and extreme exhaustion. This can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The flu shot provides the best protection against influenza. The flu shot is free, safe for children, and for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The influenza virus changes frequently, so you need to get the flu shot every year for the best protection. During influenza season, from the late fall to early spring, the flu shot is available through your doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacy. However, the 2021-2022 flu season is now over, and flu shots are no longer available. Flu shots will return to the Haldimand and Norfolk region in the fall of 2022.
In addition to the flu shot, other ways to reduce your risk include frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve rather than your hand and staying home from work or school when you or your child is ill.
Be aware that symptoms of COVID-19 and symptoms of influenza are similar. If you experience any related symptoms, complete a COVID-19 self-assessment at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment, and follow the directions provided.
For more information about the influenza virus, the flu shot, or COVID-19 visit hnhu.org.