Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease of the respiratory tract, said the Sudbury and District Health Unit. Symptoms include high fever, headache, sore throat, cough, and muscle aches and pains. Children may also have mild stomach upset. The most common symptoms usually include a runny nose and cough.
“Although this is the first case reported to the health unit this season, influenza cases have been confirmed in other parts of the province,” Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health with the Sudbury and District Health Unit, said in a release.
There have been 182 confirmed cases of influenza in Ontario to date for the 2013-2014 season.
Tests have confirmed the Sudbury case tested positive for influenza type A, the most common type in the province so far this season.
The annual influenza vaccine contains strains of influenza type A and type B. Tests from across the country have demonstrated an excellent match between the circulating strains of influenza and the strains contained in this year’s vaccine, the health unit said in a release.
“Immunization is very effective at controlling the spread of influenza in the community. While it may take up to two weeks to develop ideal protection against influenza, it is not too late to get your flu shot,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
The health unit has scheduled additional influenza immunization clinics for anyone wishing to receive their free flu shot by appointment or on a drop-in basis.
People who are ill with influenza or other respiratory infections should stay at home to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly. Frequent handwashing can also reduce the spread of influenza.
Influenza is the most serious of a number of respiratory viruses that cause coughs, sniffles and fever each winter. Most people who get the flu feel worse than they would with a simple cold. Even the young and healthy may take one week or more to recover.
To book an appointment to get your flu shot, please call the Sudbury and District Health Unit at 705-522-9200. Visit www.sdhu.com for additional information and clinic dates and times.