As the temperatures drop, the leaves change, and students return, the stage is set for the fall flu season.
On Thursday, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health announced they had confirmed the region’s first case of influenza A.
This comes after two years of battling the flu season in conjunction with COVID-19 and RSV, the triple threat as Dr. Piotr Oglaza puts it.
“This reminds us that there is more than one pathogen, more than just COVID, and that we need to be alert to all other circulating pathogens and take appropriate action,” said KFL&A Public Medical Officer of Health Health.
This follows a slight increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in wastewater monitoring data, collected by Public Health, which was revealed in late August, as many students returned .
Despite this, Dr. Oglaza says there is no reason to panic.
“As for the severity of the season, it’s too early to say, but what’s important is that everyone takes the necessary steps to protect themselves,” Oglaza added.
Dr. Oglaza says simple things like staying home when sick, good hand hygiene and general cleanliness are good tools, as is a flu shot.
On the streets of Kingston, it looks like many people will be participating.
“Yes absolutely. I was hoping they would combine the Covid and flu vaccines so I could just be lazy and go once,” said Rik Bradshaw, a Kingston resident.
“I’ll probably still get the flu shot,” said Jill Hamilton, also a Kingston resident.
“I’m going to get a flu shot and a COVID shot,” added Shirley Houlden, who came from Frankford.
Common symptoms of influenza A include fever, cough, chills, head or muscle pain, sore throat, runny nose, and nausea or vomiting.
Oglaza says flu vaccines are expected to arrive in the region in October, at which point they will be available to anyone who is eligible.
He also says the health unit will soon roll out a new and improved dashboard for flu season, which will track more than just COVID-19 data.
© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.