Influenza confirmed in Huron County

(© Can Stock Photo / gina_sanders)

Lab tests have confirmed the first case of influenza in Huron County for the winter season.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Maarten Bokhout said residents should wash their hands often, and stay home if they are sick.

He said you can still protect yourself with the flu shot, which is available free at many pharmacies and healthcare provider offices across Huron County.

Flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It causes sudden fever, sore throat, chills, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Most people who get the flu are sick for two to seven days but can feel tired and weak for up to two weeks. In some cases, the cough can also last for weeks.

In seniors and people with chronic health problems, such as lung or heart disease or diabetes, flu can lead to complications such as pneumonia.

Flu spreads very easily from person to person in tiny droplets from the nose and throat.

To reduce the risk, you should:

• Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and hot water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.

• Stay home if you’re sick.

• Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces such as keyboards, doorknobs, and countertops.

• Get your flu shot.

For more information about the flu, including where to get the flu shot, visit www.huronhealthunit.ca or call 1.877.837.6143 ext. 2329.