Flu Season is Here Windsor-Essex
Flu season is here and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) urges everyone over the age of 6 months to get their annual flu shot. WECHU says the annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, and those around you, from the influenza virus.
Yearly, the flu results in approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes are at a greater risk of serious illness from complications of influenza. Last year’s flu season saw 180 lab-confirmed cases of influenza in Windsor and Essex County. To date there have been no confirmed cases of influenza this season.
The flu vaccine is developed to match the most common strains of the influenza virus, which changes from year to year. Therefore, it is important to get the flu shot every season. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health of the WECHU, is urging all residents to be vaccinated, “It is important to protect yourself from COVID-19 by following public health measures. However, it is also important to protect yourself from influenza by getting the flu vaccine.”
Starting this week, the flu vaccine will be widely available from participating pharmacies, health care providers, and walk-in clinics. Please note that pharmacies are only able to immunize individuals that are 5 years of age and older.
Flu symptoms are more severe than a cold and typically include the sudden onset of;
- Cough, and
- muscle aches.
Other common symptoms include;
- Loss of appetite,
- Sore throat,
- Vomiting and;
- diarrhea, especially in children.
Getting the flu shot is the best protection against getting or spreading the flu. Other important measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the influenza virus include washing your hands often, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, sneezing and coughing into ones sleeve or a tissue, not touching your face, and staying home when you’re sick.