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Media Release: HPEPH confirms first case of Influenza A in the region

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/Jan. 17, 2022 –

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has received laboratory confirmation of the first case of Influenza A for the 2021-2022 flu season. While the cases of flu locally and across Canada remain low, we are encouraging all residents who have not already been vaccinated against influenza to do so as soon as possible.

“The sooner a person is immunized against influenza, the sooner they and vulnerable people around them are protected from this contagious and potentially dangerous illness,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “I am recommending that all residents, not just the young and the elderly, get immunized as soon as possible.”

You can get your flu shot from:

  • Your primary care provider or family doctor (for individuals six months and older)
  • Your local pharmacist – find the closest immunization clinic online at Ontario.ca/flu (pharmacies can give flu shots to those with or without an Ontario health card aged two years and older)

Influenza causes mild to severe illness and can lead to serious health complications, even in healthy children and adults. Immunization is the best way to prevent influenza. The influenza vaccine is available free of charge to anyone in Ontario over the age of 6 months.

Next to getting a flu shot, public health measures used to avoid COVID-19 are also effective against influenza:

  • Stay home if you have any symptoms of influenza or COVID-19.
  • Avoid indoor social gatherings including visiting others, or having others visit you.
  • Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with and wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Wash hands frequently and cover your cough/sneeze.

The symptoms of influenza include fever (greater than 38°C/100.4°F), dry cough, chills, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, sore throat, and runny nose. Young children may also experience nausea and vomiting with the above symptoms.

Adults with influenza may be infectious for five days after the onset of their symptoms whereas children may be infectious for up to seven days. If you or your child have symptoms of influenza, it is important to stay home during the infectious period to avoid spreading the illness to others.

For more information about influenza please see:

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Media contacts

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist

etubbs@hpeph.ca

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist

mhyland@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.