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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. | Windsor and Essex County

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has reported the first case of Influenza A in Windsor and Essex County. Last influenza season, there were no lab confirmed influenza cases. Previously, the first influenza case reported for a season was on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

The WECHU is reminding everyone to get their flu shot. The best way to protect yourself against the influenza virus and lower your risk of getting the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is free for people who work, live or study in Ontario. There are a number of ways for residents to get their influenza vaccine:

  • From your health care provider (contact your doctor or nurse practitioner)
  • At participating local Pharmacies in Windsor and Essex County

Influenza (the flu) is a virus that causes an infection of the nose, throat and lungs, and is easily spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. The flu virus can also live on surfaces for several hours, which can cause you to get sick when touching your mouth, nose or eyes after touching a contaminated surface. Symptoms start one to four days after being exposed and individuals with the flu can spread the virus before they experience symptoms.

Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 can be similar: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headaches, and muscle pain/body aches. It may be hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, and testing may be required to confirm. If individuals have any of the above symptoms, they should not attend work or school, contact their health care provider, and seek testing at a local COVID-19 assessment centre if you are eligible for PCR or rapid POC molecular testing.

The flu can affect anyone, including those who are healthy, but people at higher risk of serious complications are:

  • young children
  • babies under 6 months of age (who are unable to get the vaccine)
  • adults aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • those living with a chronic health conditions (such as asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, heart disease)

It is important to take precautions to prevent getting or spreading the flu:

  • everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine every year
  • wash your hands often
  • cough and sneeze into your arm or tissue
  • do not touch your face
  • stay home when you are sick
  • avoid close contact with others if feeling ill
  • clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and shared items
  • contact your health care provider to rule out other viruses such as COVID-19

Lower your risk and the risk of those around you and get the flu vaccine. The best time to get vaccinated is now.

For more information on influenza or to find a flu vaccine location, please visit our flu page.

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