The flu has arrived in the area once again, according to Waterloo Public Health.
The agency reported its first two lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the 2022-23 flu season on Wednesday.
“These first cases signal the start of the flu season. It is expected that influenza will circulate at elevated levels this fall and winter, alongside COVID-19,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health, stated.
“It is important to get your flu shot and stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.”
The region says influenza immunization is the best way for residents over the age of six months to protect themselves from more serious outcomes from the virus.
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It notes that vaccines are expected to become available through pharmacies and family doctors early next month.
Public health says that while everyone should get a shot of flu vaccine, it is most important for those who are under the age of five or over the age of 65 and those with chronic health conditions to get one.
The region notes that symptoms of the flu are similar to those of COVID-19 and include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, headache and muscle/joint aches.
It says those experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home until their fever lifts or symptoms improve for at least a day, or two days if you threw up or had diarrhea.
They also warn not to visit anyone in hospital and to seek further medical attention if things continue to get worse.