The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit has its first lab-confirmed case of influenza this season.
The health unit says a person living in its jurisdiction (City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County) tested positive for influenza — not a surprise to health officials, who note influenza activity is increasing across Canada.
“Typically, we see flu activity start to ramp up in mid- to late-November, and that is what we are again experiencing this year,” said Marianne Rock, manager, with the health unit’s health protection division.
“Now that we know flu is circulating in our area, we encourage local residents to take precautions and protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming sick.”
The health unit recommends getting the flu vaccine, especially for anyone six months of age or older. Flu vaccines are available from health care providers and pharmacies.
“Getting the flu vaccine early enough is important, as it can take a week or two for the antibodies to develop in the body to offer full protection against influenza,” Rock stated. “With the holiday season on the horizon, getting the flu vaccine is also advised to stay healthy and reduce the spread of illness when getting together with family or friends.”
The influenza virus spreads mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People can become infected by touching objects or surfaces with flu viruses on them and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and extreme weakness and fatigue.
Individuals who are most vulnerable to flu include older adults, very young children and people with compromised immune systems.
The health unit recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of flu:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Sneeze and cough into sleeves
- Stay home from work and school if you are sick
- Keep your body’s immune system strong by eating well, getting sufficient sleep and being physically active on a regular basis