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Influenza and Norovirus on the rise in Kingston

Last Updated on March 31, 2022 by YGK News Staff

Have you had a cold or flu like symptoms recently, but tested negative for COVID-19? You aren’t the only one. KFL&A Public Health reports that Influenza A and other respiratory illnesses are present in the community. This is despite the fact that we are nearing the end of of the traditional respiratory illness season. 

According to KFL&A Public Health, the first influenza A case was reported on Dec 9th 2021 and since then, cases in the community continue to be reported. 

While norovirus is an illness that usually includes diarrhea or vomiting, it commonly occurs in the winter and is often referred to as “stomach flu.”  Influenza or the flu on the other hand is considered to be a respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza virus.

The last influenza outbreak was recorded on March 22nd, 2022, when Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) declared an influenza outbreak on Connell 10 unit of the Kingston General Hospital after two patients tested positive. 

“KFL&A Public Health has been notified, and contact tracing efforts by the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team are underway. The unit remains open to admissions,” wrote KHSC in a press release. 

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Gerald Evans has also confirmed that there has been a “marked” increase of Influenza A outbreaks, as well as cases of norovirus among congregate care settings. Evans told CKWS News that he the increase at this time of year has to do with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. 

KFL&A Public Health tells YGK News that the best way to protect yourself from influenza and norovirus is by receiving the flu vaccine.

 “There are several local pharmacies that continue to offer the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself,” Jenn Fagen, from KFLA Public Health, told YGK News. 

Additionally, community members are being encouraged to wash their hands frequently, use proper respiratory etiquette and stay home if they have influenza. 

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