In the wake of a flu outbreak currently hitting the city, the Sudbury and District Health Unit and Health Sciences North are encouraging all residents to protect themselves and others from the influenza virus by getting a flu shot.
There are presently five outbreaks of influenza in local long-term care homes, according to a press release.
Physicians’ offices and emergency departments are busy assessing patients with influenza like illness. The health unit continues to receive and investigate laboratory reports of influenza across the district.
“The first line of defence against the flu is plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and minimize your contact with other people,” said Dr. Chris Bourdon, HSN’s chief of staff and an Emergency Department physician.
“If your symptoms worsen, visit your doctor’s office or a community clinic. If you feel your case of the flu is of an urgent nature, the Emergency Department is here to help you.”
“Everyone is at risk of getting the flu,” says Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health. “However, some individuals who get the flu are at higher risk of experiencing serious complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.”
Symptoms of influenza may include fever, runny eyes, headache, sore throat, extreme weakness, chills, cough, stuffy nose, muscle aches, and fatigue.
In addition to getting the flu shot, all residents are reminded of the following steps to take to protect themselves and others from illness:
-Wash your hands often and especially before eating using liquid soap and water. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
-Cough into a tissue or your sleeve and throw away used tissues immediately.
-Stay home if you are ill.
Free flu shots are available at the Health Unit's main office, located at 1300 Paris St., Sudbury or by visiting participating walk-in clinics, community health centres, or your health care provider.
For more information about caring for someone who has influenza, please visit www.sdhu.com.