Flu Cases Spike In Windsor-Essex

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

There’s been a significant spike in the number of lab-confirmed flu cases in Windsor-Essex over just the past few weeks.

“At the end of week eight, we were down to 27 cases,” says Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed. “After the end of week ten, we are [at] 69, so slightly more than double the number of cases.”

There are currently two outbreaks in long-term care homes in the region, but Ahmed says most of those confirmed cases are in the broader community. Earlier this year, the health unit reported less than half of residents had received a flu shot and Ahmed suspects that may be responsible for the late uptick in infection.

“Another reason to support that, especially in the cases that we saw in the long-term care homes, most of the individuals who came down with influenza, they were not vaccinated in the first place,” he says.

Unlike last season when the vaccine was a mismatch for at least one strain of influenza, Ahmed says this year’s shot appears to be very effective in preventing illness. However, he says one of the downsides to having a relatively quiet influenza season is that the less people hear about the flu, the less likely they are to get their flu shot.