The Perth District Health Unit is reporting that as of March 6 there are 12 lab-confirmed cases of influenza in Perth County, 10 of which are influenza B and two of which are influenza A.
The majority of the confirmed flu cases are in children who are not immunized.
“Lab-confirmed cases are usually only a fraction of actual cases of flu in the county,” says Erica Jensen, public health nurse. “Many people do not see a doctor or get tested when they are sick.”
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause a cough, fever, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue and sometimes a runny nose. Influenza is much worse than a cold.
Influenza is different than the “stomach flu” – it does not normally cause people to throw up or have diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea are signs of a gastrointestinal illness, most likely norovirus, which is also in the community at this time.
It’s not too late to get the flu shot. Flu shots are available through family doctors until the end of March. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start working.
“This year’s flu shot is considered a good match because it protects against three of the four influenza strains that are circulating in Ontario,” adds Jensen.