Influenza Arrives in Middlesex-London

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit advised the community today that Influenza has been detected locally. While only five people have had laboratory confirmation of Influenza A, most people with influenza do not have laboratory tests done to confirm their diagnosis. The announcement is a reminder that individuals should still take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

"It's not too late to get your flu shot, whether here at the Health Unit or at your family doctor's office," says Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Middlesex-London Health Unit. "The vaccine not only helps protect you from getting ill with influenza, but it also helps prevent you from passing the virus on to people who may be more vulnerable, like seniors and young children."

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Simple precautions can help reduce the influenza risk as well; these include frequent hand washing, using a waterless hand sanitizer, covering your cough and staying home when you are ill.

Influenza activity in Middlesex-London is monitored in several ways: by tracking the number of schools reporting students who are absent with respiratory illness and by monitoring reports from doctors' offices, emergency departments and long-term care facilities who watch for people who display symptoms.

Symptoms of the flu may include sudden onset of cough, fever, chills, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Individuals of any age can get influenza. The elderly, those with chronic medical conditions and children less than two years of age are at higher risk of developing complications associated with the flu, such as pneumonia.

Influenza vaccine clinics are held at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, 50 King Street, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Immunizations are also provided at the Kenwick Mall in Strathroy on the first Tuesday of each month from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. No appointments or health cards are required.

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