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Early start to flu season in Sudbury as first case confirmed

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Sudbury public health officials say the city's first case of influenza virus has been confirmed, marking an early start to flu season.

No specifics about where in the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area it was reported.

"Similar to last year, this local activity indicates an early start to our influenza season," public health said.

"Area residents are reminded to protect themselves and others from respiratory infections by implementing simple and effective protective practices."

Flu shots are available throughout the region including pharmacies and health care providers and can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine in some cases.

"As we enter the respiratory season, getting your flu shot is a simple and effective way to protect yourself, loved ones, co-workers, and the community," said Christina Baier, a health protection division manager.

"Check with your local pharmacy or health care provider about COVID-19 and influenza vaccine availability as it is safe to receive both at the same time."

While COVID-19 is no longer considered a pandemic, the disease is still circulating the community.

As of Wednesday morning, Health Sciences North has 53 confirmed COVID-19 cases among patients, including four in the intensive care unit.

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared Nov. 14 on Level 5 of the south tower of the hospital.

Another 16 patients have been tested and waiting for results and there are 45 patients who were previously admitted for COVID-19 and are no longer positive, but are still being cared for in hospital.

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," the health unit said.

"With some common symptoms to other respiratory illnesses, it can be difficult to know what virus you have."

To prevent spreading illness:

Wash hands frequently for at least 15 seconds

Wear a well-fitted mask

Stay home and self-isolate until the fever is gone and symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours

PHSD has a respiratory illness surveillance dashboard that shows flu, COVID-19 and RSV activity in the community from the previous week.

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