December 7, 2011 - The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is reporting this year’s flu shot numbers are up over last year. Approximately 11,000 people have already been immunized to date; 500 more than the 10,500 flu shots given out by the TBDHU in 2010. With 4 clinics to go this month, more will be added to the 2011 total.
The TBDHU is encouraged by the increase and is urging the public to put getting the flu shot on the holiday "to-do" list since flu clinics are available in our community right up to December 20.
"We know the flu virus is circulating in the province," says Darlene Binette, manager of infectious diseases. "So, it’s important to get a flu shot to prepare your body to fight the disease and to keep yourself, your family and friends healthy over the holidays."
There have been 9 cases of the flu reported in the province as of November 26, with one of those cases from the District of Thunder Bay. Flu activity in Ontario is currently described as "low" but Binette reminds the public that in January 2011, after a "low activity" holiday season, the number of flu cases in the province spiked causing much illness and a strain on the health care system.
"We can’t be complacent. The flu moves, so we need to be prepared," says Binette. "The more people who get the flu shot, the harder it will be for the flu virus to spread and the more we will be protecting the health of our community."
Flu shot clinics will be held at the following locations this month:
Mon. Dec. 12 - Vickers Heights Community Centre - 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Tues. Dec. 13 - Gorham and Ware School - 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Mon. Dec. 19 - Neebing Municipal Office - 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Tues. Dec. 20 - MacGregor Community Centre - 3:00 – 7: 00 pm
The flu schedule is available at thunderbayflu.ca or by calling the flu line at 624-9082; toll-free 1-866-607-3337. The flu shot is also available from family doctors, health clinics, health centres, nurse practitioners, neighbourhood retailers, pharmacies and workplaces.
The public is also reminded that frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying away from others when you are ill are also ways to prevent the spread of infections.
For more information, call the TBDHU at 625-5900 or 1-888-294-6630.