First Local Influenza Case of the Season Reported to Peterborough Public Health

Written by Comms Team, November 19, 2021

Free Flu Shots Still Available Throughout the Community

 Today Peterborough Public Health reported the first local lab-confirmed case of seasonal influenza in our area.

“The case is lab-confirmed for influenza, and we now know that seasonal influenza is circulating in our community,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health.  “Usually there are more cases of influenza in the community than are reported by the lab, so we strongly encourage residents to get their influenza vaccination to protect themselves and others, as it’s still early in the season.”

Dr. Gemmill noted that this year’s first lab-confirmed case is the influenza A strain.  The flu shot protects against two types of influenza A and two types of influenza B strains.

This is the first lab-confirmed case reported by Peterborough Public Health since early 2020. A total of zero lab-confirmed influenza cases were reported for the 2020-2021 surveillance season. Zero influenza outbreaks were reported in long-term care facilities, retirement residences, and the local hospital for the same period, compared to three outbreaks in these settings the previous influenza season.

The flu shot is free and recommended for everyone over six months of age.  It is especially important for people with a weakened immune system, chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, young children, the elderly and anyone who takes care of people in these groups.

Flu shots are available at many local pharmacies (for individuals age 2 years and older) and physician offices. Peterborough Public Health is holding flu shot clinics for children under 2 and their families without a primary healthcare provider on Thursday December 18, 2021 and Thursday January 13, 2021 for children that require a second dose.   To book an appointment, please call 705-743-1000, ext. 507. For a listing of pharmacies offering free flu shots, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/flu.

Dr. Gemmill advised that in addition to getting the flu shot people take the following precautions to reduce the spread of infection:

  • Stay home if feeling unwell
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Clean and sanitize commonly-used surfaces frequently
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue and washing hands afterwards

For more information about influenza, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391