The first case of Influenza A has been confirmed in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region.
KFL&A Public Health has received laboratory confirmation of the first case and issued a reminder to the community to get immunized now to prevent Influenza A from spreading throughout the region, especially during the fourth wave of COVID-19.
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, Public Health said in a media release. KFL&A Public Health recommends that all KFL&A area residents, not just the young and the elderly, get immunized as soon as possible. KFL&A area residents can find the closest immunization clinic online at Ontario.ca/flu.
“Influenza causes mild to severe illness and can lead to serious health complications, even in healthy children and adults,” the agency stated. “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, the following public health measures, used to avoid COVID-19, are also recommended for influenza prevention, according to Public Health:
- 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.
The symptoms of influenza include fever (greater than 38.0°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,” Public Health said. “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.”
Anyone aged six months and older who lives, works, or attends school in Ontario is eligible to receive the publicly funded flu vaccine.
You can get your flu shot from:
- Your primary care provider or family doctor
- Your local pharmacist
- Pharmacies can give flu shots to those with or without an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card. Check with your local pharmacy to see if they will give you your flu vaccine.
- A KFL&A Public Health flu shot clinic. Clinics are for those who are between 6 months and 2 years of age who do not have a health care provider, and their household members.
More details on Influenza can be found on the KFL&A website.