Prince Edward Island has had three cases of ▲lab-confirmed influenza including one case who has been hospitalized, says Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.
“We are seeing a slightly earlier start to our flu season, so Islanders are reminded to follow the necessary measures to prevent and control the spread of infection,” said Dr. Morrison. “Wash your hands often, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick, and get your annual flu shot.”
Typical symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, aches and pains, cough, and sore throat.
The 2012-2013 seasonal influenza vaccine is protective against three strains of influenza – Influenza A (H1N1), Influenza A (H3N2), and Influenza B. These are the three strains identified across Canada this season to date. Prince Edward Island’s first cases have all been the Influenza A (H3) strain.
The Department of Health and Wellness has distributed close to 46,000 doses of seasonal influenza vaccine to public health nursing, physicians’ offices, provincial health centres, long-term care facilities, and hospitals free of charge.
Health PEI provides vaccination free of charge for any child aged 6-59 months, as well as pregnant women and household contacts of pregnant women at public health nursing offices across Prince Edward Island. Over the past month, Public Health Nursing has also been conducting free flu clinics across PEI to those 65 years and over. The vaccine is also available free of charge for pregnant women at obstetrician offices in the province.
Vaccination is recognized as the single most effective way of reducing the impact of influenza, especially for those most at risk for complications. All Islanders are encouraged to get vaccinated as it is the best defence against the spread of influenza virus and it is not too late to get your flu shot. For more information on influenza or where to get the influenza vaccine, visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu.
Contact Information for Public Health Nursing Offices:
• Alberton, O’Leary and Tignish – 859-8720
• Wellington – 854-7259
• Kensington and Summerside – 888-8160
• Charlottetown – 368-4530
• Montague – 838-0762
• Souris – 687-7049
Contact Information for Health Centres:
• Eastern Kings Health Centre (Souris) – 687-7033
• Montague Medical Centre – 838-0830
• Four Neighbourhoods Health Centre (Charlottetown) – 569-7772
• Central Queens Health Centre (Hunter River) – Watch for local clinic dates
• Gulf Shore Health Centre (Rustico) – Watch for local clinic dates
• Harbourside Health Centre (Summerside) – 432-2614
• Evangeline Health Centre (Wellington) – 854-7259
• Tyne Valley Health Centre – 831-5800
• O’Leary Health Centre – 859-3929
• Alberton Health Services – 853-0403