Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting its first confirmed case of influenza A in the City of Greater Sudbury.

Clinical Services Manager, Annie Berthiaume, says influenza is very contagious and can be deadly for people with chronic conditions.

She adds this year, the majority of flu vaccines will protect against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B.

Family health teams, clinics, and pharmacies have free flu shots available on site, just be sure to bring your health card.

A high dose vaccine, containing three influenza strains is publicly funded and may also be available for people 65 years of age and older. However, should a high dose vaccine be unavailable, seniors are strongly encouraged to receive another influenza vaccine product to protect against influenza.

People who are ill with influenza or other respiratory infections should stay home to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly. Frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a sleeve can also reduce the spread of influenza.

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue. Most people will recover from influenza infection within a week to 10 days, but some are at greater risk of developing more severe complications such as pneumonia. Children can also have a mild stomach upset due to influenza. The most common symptoms usually include fever, runny nose, and cough.

The influenza vaccine is available at many locations throughout the community including local pharmacies and health care providers’ offices. In addition, Public Health Sudbury & Districts offers the vaccine at many of its locations by appointment.

For more information about the influenza vaccine, ways to prevent getting sick, as well as how to treat mild symptoms at home, visit phsd.ca or call 705.522.9200, ext. 301 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).