The first flu case of the season has been confirmed in central Ontario, according to the regional health unit.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reported Friday that it has found the first lab-confirmed case of influenza for the 2019-20 flu season in its coverage area, which includes the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County.
The flu case was confirmed on Wednesday but the health unit did not state where the patient lived. The health unit says the case is a reminder for people to get their flu shot.
“This year is no different from previous ones in that we typically see the first evidence of flu activity in November,” stated Marianne Rock, the health unit’s manager of health protection.
“Since we know flu is circulating in our community, we need to take steps to prevent illness, including getting our free flu vaccine.”
This year’s flu vaccine is designed to protect against two strains of influenza A – H1N1 and H3N2 – and a strain of influenza B. This is based on health experts’ best prediction for what will be the main flu virus strains circulating this influenza season, Rock says.
“Even when there is a less-than-ideal match, the seasonal flu shot can still provide protection and often reduces the severity of symptoms,” she said.“The bottom line is that even if you get the flu after receiving the flu shot, your illness is usually milder than if you had not been vaccinated at all.”
Flu shots are available at pharmacies, a health care provider or the health unit, which is offering flu shots for children under age five, at which time parents and guardians can also be vaccinated.
To book an appointment, call the health unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1507.