The public health officials said that this year’s flu season is starting later in southwestern Ontario, but that’s not a good enough reason for residents to lay their guard down and postpone getting their flu shots. In comparison with 2017 when the Middlesex London Health Unit recorded seven influenza cases between September 1st and December 1st, this year they registered no flu-confirmed cases.
Also, no influenza cases were recorded in Elgin and Oxford counties either.
“There have been some cases in the areas around us, such as in Niagara and the city of Toronto. There’s been a little bit of sporadic activity, I understand, in Perth and Haldimand-Norfolk. It should be at our doorstep before long. So the sooner people get out to get their flu shot, the better,” said Dr. Joyce Lock.
However, the reasons behind the slow start of this year’s flu season across southwestern Ontario are not yet known by public health officials and experts who admitted that this situation is unusual.
Flu Season Is Starting Later In Southwestern Ontario This Year
“It is a bit unusual that we have no cases yet. The vaccine is certainly spot on in terms of what is circulating and what has been circulating in other hemispheres. So that could certainly be related to that,” said infectious disease control team manager Mary Lou Albanese from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
“We try not to predict because it’s Murphy’s Law that you get the complete opposite. That’s the challenge with the flu, it’s completely unpredictable, and it can change,” she added.
As the influenza is not yet affecting southwestern Ontario, the experts recommend people to get their flu shots as soon as possible because this year’s flu season might strike the region anytime and the influenza vaccine needs two weeks to immunize patients entirely.
“We are encouraging people to get their flu shot and just do all the other healthy activities like washing their hands, coughing into their elbow and staying home when they’re sick,” Mary Lou Albanese said.