The provincial government has confirmed all regions of the province have the influenza vaccine available.
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The flu season circulates from December to April each year, and this year, there are three confirmed strains of flu circulating, including H1N1, or Influenza A.
Those who have already received their seasonal vaccination do not require a second dose since the vaccine protects against the three strains.
Five deaths have been confirmed in the province this year, with each patient having an underlying health condition.
As of Feb. 17, there have been 407 confirmed cases of influenza in the province, which include 71 hospitalizations and 23 admissions to intensive care. This is down from a year ago when 15 deaths, 645 cases were reported, 220 hospitalizations and 26 admissions to intensive care.
A news release from the Department of Health and Community Services says the optimal way to prevent acquiring influenza is through vaccinations, something the health authorities in the province offer all residents.
“While we have had a moderate influenza season to date, historically we know that the flu will continue to be active in our province for at least another two months,” department Minister Susan Sullivan said in the release. ”We are encouraging residents to remain vigilant and protect themselves from influenza by getting a flu shot and continuing to practice proper preventative hygiene by cleaning their hands, covering their coughs and sneezes and remain home when they are sick.”
Common symptoms of influenza include sudden onset of fever and cough, fatigue, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, decreased appetite and runny nose. The seasonal vaccine does not protect against the common cold.
In the Trinity-Conception-Placentia regions, flu shots are available through Eastern Health facilities.
If you or someone you know in the region would like to receive a seasonal flu shot, you can contact your family physician or the following health care facilities:
• Bay Roberts — Bay Roberts Regional Centre (Dawe Building), 786-5224;
• Carbonear: — Carbonear General Hospital, 945-5111; Harbour Lodge Nursing Home, 945-5400; and Interfaith Citizens Home, 945-5300;
• Harbour Grace — Taylor Building (Harbour Grace Regional Centre), 945-6512; and Splash Centre, 596-2400;
• Heart’s Delight: Heart’s Delight District Office, 588-2565;
• Old Perlican: Dr. A. A. Wilkinson Memorial Health Centre, 587-2200; and Old Perlican District Office, 587-2370;
• Placentia: Lions Manor Nursing Home (Placentia Health Centre), 227-2061; Placentia District Office (Placentia Health Care Centre), 227-3641; and Placentia District Office (Placentia Public Building, Court House), 227-0130;
• Whitbourne: Dr. Wm. H. Newhook Community Health Centre, 759-2300; and Whitbourne Community Services Building, 759-3370.
Those with questions are asked to contact the Newfoundland and Labrador HealthLine at 1-888-709-2929, or visit the Eastern Health website at easternhealth.ca.