Cornwall spared brunt of flu season, for now: EOHU

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Jessica-Rose Dybka gets her shot in this TC Media file photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Cornwall and area has so far weathered the winter flu season well, but it's not too late to protect yourself further - or get sick.

Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, told Seaway News in an interview there have been just 37 flu cases documented since October - and only 14 of those were the dreaded H1N1 that strikes fear into health-care providers.

Typically doctors grapple with several more cases every winter in Cornwall and area.

Western Canada has been plagued with H1N1, with nearly 1,000 cases reported in Alberta. Five people have died.

“We’re seeing low activity in our area," said Roumeliotis, who added it's still not too late to get the flu shot.

And likewise, it's not too late to get sick, either.

"It still might come our way from the west," said Roumeliotis.

In 2009, two deaths were linked to H1N1, including a local pre-teen girl.

The H1N1 virus typically infects children under five years of age and adults born after 1957, particularly those with weak immune systems and chronic medical conditions, according to the EOHU.

Flu shots are available by appointment at the health unit, your health-care provider and some local pharmacies.

For those opposed to getting vaccinated, the EOHU recommends washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Click here to visit the health unit's website.

Organizations: Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Seaway News

Geographic location: Ontario

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