First cases of the flu in children confirmed in Guelph

GUELPH – There have already been two confirmed cases of the flu in children in Guelph. 

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is distributing the flu vaccine to physicians now.  Pharmacies will receive vaccine from the Ministry of Health in November.

“Influenza is in the community. Get your shot as soon as possible,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO at WDGPH. “Children under 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions should get their flu shot now.”  

Officials say the shot offers protection from several common strains of the flu virus. 

“It is very safe and is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting the flu,” states a WDGPH press release.

There is also a “high dose senior’s vaccine” to support the immune system of people over 65 years of age. It is only available from doctors or from public health. 

Symptoms associated with the flu range from unpleasant to very serious.  

The most common flu symptoms are fever and cough, but headache, chills, sore throat and muscle pain are also common.

Every year, approximately 23,000 Canadians become seriously ill from the flu and require hospitalization. 

Between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians, mostly the elderly and high-risk patients, will die from the flu and its complications.

The flu is spread directly from one person to another when infected people cough or sneeze. It can also be spread when a person touches surfaces that are infected with the virus (e.g., toys, cell phones, and doorknobs). 

The flu can spread to others even before symptoms appear and before someone knows they are getting sick.