Influenza A arrives in Grey-Bruce

The Grey Bruce Health Unit received laboratory results Thursday confirming that Influenza A is a Grey-Bruce resident.

Area health care practitioners are being notified.

There were no lab-confirmed influenza cases in the area during the last flu season. The first local influenza case of the 2019-20 flu season was confirmed in November 2019.

Public health is reminding people to get the flu shot, which is the best way to protect against the influenza virus.

The vaccine, which is free for anyone who lives, works or studies in Ontario, is available at participating pharmacies and from local primary care providers.

Public health measures aimed at protecting people from the spread of COVID-19 can also serve as a defence from Influenza A. They include wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance from others.

Other strategies include: 

·         Washing your hands often or using an alcohol-based sanitizer. The influenza virus can survive on unwashed hands for five minutes, on tissues or clothing for eight to 10 hours and on hard surfaces for two days;
·         Containing your cough by covering your mouth with your sleeve, not your hand;
·         If feeling unwell, staying home and resting;
·         If sick, not visiting a loved one in hospital or long-term care facility. The elderly and those in hospital are more at risk of developing serious complications of influenza which can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of the flu typically appear one to four days after exposure to the virus, but people are still contagious even if they don’t show symptoms yet.

Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and tiredness and loss of appetite.

Most people who get the flu will recover within seven to 10 days.

Individuals should call their primary care provider if they don’t start feeling better after a few days, their symptoms get worse or they are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms.

For further information, call Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 or visit Public Health website.