Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious, highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. Illness from the flu can last two to seven days. It may last longer in people with chronic diseases or the elderly. Some people get very ill, develop complications and are admitted to hospital. Some people will die from getting the flu.

Symptoms of flu and a common cold can be similar. However, the flu can lead to serious health problems like pneumonia. Find out whether you have a cold or the flu.

Where to get the influenza vaccine (flu shot)

Find out where you can get the flu shot in Huron and Perth counties.

Protecting you and your family from the flu

A flu shot helps to prevent the flu in healthy adults and children. Some people who get the flu shot may still get the flu, but it will usually be a milder case than if they did not get the flu shot.

Anyone six months of age and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario can get the flu shot for free. It takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot to be protected. The vaccine is needed every year because the flu strains may change. Children less than nine years old need two flu shots the first year they get the vaccine. They need one flu shot each year after.

Flu activity in Perth and Huron Counties

In Canada, influenza or flu season usually runs from November to April. Huron Perth Public Health tracks the flu in our communities by tracking:

  • lab-confirmed cases submitted through local doctors and hospitals
  • outbreaks at local hospitals, long-term care homes and other facilities
  • reports of high absenteeism in children from schools due to influenza-like symptoms

The number of lab-confirmed cases of flu is only a small portion of people who may actually have the flu. Many people do not see a doctor or get tested when they are ill. The number of lab-confirmed cases being reported indicates the extent of flu in Huron and Perth, however, there are likely many more cases in our region that we haven't heard about.