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‘It’s important to get the flu shot’: Flu season comes early to Peterborough and the Kawarthas

Click to play video: 'Flu season comes early to Peterborough area'
Flu season comes early to Peterborough area
Peterborough Public Health has confirmed its first case of influenza this season. Mark Giunta reports – Nov 14, 2019

It’s that feeling of being under the weather — aches and pains, cough and fever.

It’s the flu, and it’s here.

The first lab-confirmed case of influenza A was reported by Peterborough Public Health on Nov. 1, a full month earlier than in 2018, while the first case of the flu was reported by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit on Nov. 6.

“We do know the flu is circulating in the community,” said Kaitlin Burnside, public health nurse with Peterborough Public Health.

“So it’s important to get the flu shot.”

READ MORE: First flu case of season confirmed: Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

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“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” added Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Peterborough’s Medical Officer of Health.

“Usually there are more cases of influenza in the community than are reported by the lab, so now is the time for residents to get their flu shot to protect themselves and others.”

According to Peterborough Public Health, the flu shot protects against several types of both influenza A and B.

“The best defence is the flu shot,” added Burnside.  “People can also take additional measures to protect themselves and others with handwashing, sneezing and coughing into your sleeve and staying home when you’re sick.”

Flu shots are free and are widely available at many local pharmacies.

READ MORE: Waiting for the flu shot? Here’s how to stay healthy in the meantime

Peterborough Public Health recommends everyone over six months of age to get the flu shot.

It adds getting the shot is especially important for people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, young children, the elderly and anyone who takes care of people in these groups.

Children under the age of five, however, cannot be immunized at pharmacies.

Peterborough Public Health is holding clinics for families with children under five years of age on Nov. 14, Dec. 18 and Jan 16 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at its office on King Street in downtown Peterborough.

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To book an appointment, you can call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000 ext. 154.

Click to play video: 'Ask The Doctor: The importance of the flu shot'
Ask The Doctor: The importance of the flu shot

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