H1N1 confirmed in Ontario, flu shot urged

By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Reports of the H1N1 flu strain (swine virus) in Ontario have put health officials in the region on alert. 

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirmed the return of the H1N1 influenza strain in parts of western Quebec and Ontario and is urging the public to get vaccinated.

“Although there is low local sporadic flu activity in the EOHU area, experts predict that more cases will appear after the return to school,” said a recent EOHU report.

In 2009, two deaths were linked to the virus, one a pre-teen girl, in the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Cornwall area.

The H1N1 virus 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.

“It is important for everyone, but especially for children under five years old and those born after 1957 to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at 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.

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