The Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ESU) of the Ministry of Health and Seniors would like to inform the public about the ongoing increase of influenza (flu) in the community. Reports of fever and respiratory syndromes and influenza are above normal levels in the community for this time of year.
During the most recent four-week period, 387 cases of fever and respiratory symptoms have been reported as compared to the five-year average for years 2012-2016 of 198 cases. The ESU continues to closely monitor this situation, which is currently at medium alert. Further updates will be given if the alert level rises.
If you have symptoms of an influenza-like illness, you may wish consult your physician for advice. It is especially important to seek early medical advice if symptoms are severe.
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
If you have the flu, you can help prevent the spread of infection by staying home until you are well.
Take special precautions to avoid catching or spreading respiratory infections.
Here are some guidelines:
- All individuals 6 months of age and older are encouraged to be vaccinated against influenza each season. If you wish to receive influenza vaccinations, contact your physician’s office or attend the Hamilton Health Clinic at 67 Victoria Street on Monday to Friday mornings from 8:30am to 11:30am.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home from work, school or public places if you are having influenza-like symptoms.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve or elbow. Throw tissues in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, for example door knobs, telephones, and bathroom fixtures, especially when someone is ill.
- Practice other good health habits such as: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.