Flu season hits Waterloo Region hard, killing four people
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 7:00PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 7:47PM EST
Waterloo Region is dealing with the worst influenza outbreak in the province, resulting in the death of three seniors and a healthy child who wasn’t immunized.
Hsiu-li Wang Associate Medical Officer of Health says, “It's rare to have a death in a child but it has happened before.”
Public Health is blaming an early flu season for the spike in the illness, that hit in October, two months before the average start.
“We have a lot of flu in our community we're at the peak of our season right now for those people who are still not immunized i would highly recommend they get immunized” says Wang.
Hamza Jamal didn't get his flu shot and after the bug knocked him out he says he now regrets it.
“It really messed me over for exams because I had exams I have them right now and I missed out on a couple days of studying” says Jamal.
He’s not alone. While only 8 per cent of shots are given at flu clinics, this year those numbers are down almost 40 per cent.
The rest of the statistics aren't in yet, but it's not hard to find people who haven't had the shot.
Marc Paquette says, “I just don’t know how to get it how to go about actually getting the flu shot if I knew I probably would but I’m going to take the time to figure it out.”
Chelsea Donaghy says, “I don’t know much about the flu shot or about its effects so that's one of the reasons I haven't got it.”
Public Health is stressing, you can't get the flu from the flu shot.
“This year it's actually easier than ever to get your flu shot because pharmacists in Ontario are allowed to administer the vaccine to anyone over the age of 5” says Wang.
While local clinics are done for 2012, there will be two more in early 2013 and there are plenty of clinics, doctors and pharmacists are still giving the shots.
The child had a flu-like respiratory illness, but the cause of death has not yet been determined and an autopsy will be performed. (Image: AP / Keith Srakocic)
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