Flu shot best way of preventing influenza, says Chief Public Health Officer
CHARLOTTETOWN – The Chief Public Health Office is reminding Islanders that although influenza activity on Prince Edward Island is currently low, flu shots should still be a priority.
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Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I. chief public health officer, is advising Islanders to get flu shots as soon as possible.
There are now four lab-confirmed cases of influenza on Prince Edward Island. The number of cases is on par with previous years.
The new cases confirm that flu season is now upon us, much like across the rest of country, said the Island’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison
“The flu shot is the most effective way of reducing the impact of influenza, especially for those most at risk for complications,” she said.
The vaccination is free at the public clinics for seniors age 65 and over, children aged 6 - 59 months, pregnant women, and household contacts of pregnant women. Family physicians may also offer the vaccine.
Health P.E.I. Public Health Nursing will be holding a walk-in clinic Monday, Jan. 13, at the Jack Blanchard Family Centre in Charlottetown. The walk-in clinic will be held from 12-7 p.m.
In addition, Health P.E.I. will offer additional clinics next week in various locations across the Island. Islanders can call 1-855-354-4358 (4FLU) to make an appointment for one of these other clinics.
Like the rest of the country, the predominant strain on P.E.I. is pH1N1. The pH1N1 strain differs from more typical seasonal influenza strains in that it appears to impact younger age groups in higher proportions.
This year’s seasonal influenza vaccine is protective against three strains of influenza – Influenza A (pH1N1), Influenza A (H3N2), and Influenza B.
Typical symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, aches and pains, cough, and sore throat. Wash your hands often, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, and stay home if you are sick.
For more information on influenza or where to get the influenza vaccine, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu.