A number of influenza 'A' cases have been confirmed in the Nipissing region, the North Bay and District Health Unit says.
Further information is included in the following news release issued today by the unit:
Dr. Catherine Whiting, Medical Officer of Health for the North Bay & District Health Unit, says that nine laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza 'A' have been found in locations across the district.
Other cases of unconfirmed influenza-like illness have been identified that can be linked back to the nine cases. While the strain in our area has not been identified, the dominant strain confirmed in about 96 per cent of cases circulating in Ontario is known as A/Fujian.
Several outbreaks of laboratory confirmed Influenza A have been reported from local facilities. The Health Unit is advising anyone with flu-like symptoms not to visit facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, congestion and cough.
Leeann Whitney, Director of Health Protection, at the Health Unit, noted that people who have had a flu shot this year are receiving protection against A/Fujian, a strain that was included in this year’s vaccine.
She reminded people that frequent, thorough handwashing with soap and water is still one of the best methods of protection from viruses such as influenza.
The Health Unit advised people that it is not too late to get a flu shot because the flu season continues through the winter months.
It takes up to two weeks to gain full protection from the flu shot.
Flu clinics continue to be held at the Health Unit every Thursday in January from 1 to 4 pm by drop-in. The public may also call the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Program at 474-1400 ext. 252 to book an appointment or call your health care provider.