January 9, 2014
FLU SEASON UNDERWAY IN MANITOBA
The Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health advises the province is experiencing the typical increases in cases of seasonal influenza in Manitoba, indicating that flu season is underway.
As of today, there have been 45 reported cases of lab-confirmed influenza. To date, there have been no confirmed influenza-related deaths this season.
The flu is an infection caused by a virus. It can spread easily from one person to another through coughing, sneezing or sharing food or drinks. People can also get the flu by touching objects contaminated with flu virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Manitobans are encouraged to wash their hands regularly and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette (coughing or sneezing into your elbow, sleeve or using a tissue).
This year's seasonal flu vaccine protects against H1N1 influenza A, as well as two other strains of the flu. Manitobans who have not yet received their flu shot this year can contact their health-care provider or community public health clinic to make arrangements.
The annual flu shot is especially important for those at increased risk of serious illness from the flu, their caregivers and close contacts. This includes:
* seniors aged 65 or older,
* residents of personal care homes or long-term care facilities,
* children aged six months to five years,
* those with chronic illness,
* pregnant women,
* health care workers and first responders,
* individuals of Aboriginal ancestry,
* people who are severely overweight or obese, or
* as determined by your primary health-care provider.
For more information on seasonal influenza in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/flu/.