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____ Friday November 6, 2015 ____

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Health Care

First influenza case reported for 2015/2016 season in Waterloo Region

Waterloo Region - Region of Waterloo Public Health has received a report of the first locally acquired case of influenza A in Waterloo Region. Sporadic cases of influenza have been reported elsewhere in the province.

The symptoms of influenza include sudden onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and muscle or joint aches. Influenza can cause more severe illness than the common cold. The infectious period for influenza ranges from two to five days (up to seven days in young children).

If a person experiences symptoms of respiratory illness they should:

• Stay home until the symptoms begin to lessen
• Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, immediately dispose of the used tissue and wash hands
• Use the “Sleeve Sneeze” – cough or sneeze into the upper sleeve or elbow of clothing if tissues are not available
• Frequently wash hands with soap and warm running water or use an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer
• Not visit persons in hospitals or retirement/long term care homes

Influenza immunization offers the best protection for persons over the age of six months and is available free of charge to all residents in Ontario.

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