Health Unit Not Concerned About Warning

Blackburnnews.com Reporter Jake Kislinsky gets his flu shot at one of the Chatham-Kent Public Health's clinics.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is still urging people to get their flu shot, even after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about it.

The CDC says the vaccine doesn’t cover all H3N2 viruses including one circulating in the U.S. right now. It may have mutated slightly in the U.S. and officials fear increased illness and death. Dr. Wajid Ahmed at the health unit says that the mutated strain is not making the rounds in Ontario.

Even if the mutated H3N2 virus comes to Ontario, Ahmed says the vaccine will still offer some protection. “It reduces the severity of the illness.”

On Thursday, the health unit confirmed the first three cases of influenza in Windsor-Essex, but Ahmed says it’s too early to say what strain infected those patients. He doesn’t expect those results back from the Ontario Public Health Lab for a few more days.

As for how the World Health Organization chooses a strain, he admits it’s an educated guess. “Every time you’re making an assumption or estimate, it can be as accurate as much you can (but) it can not be 100%.”