Local Health Unit Reports More Flu Cases In Young Children and Infants

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting a higher than usual number of flu in young children and infants in the region.

The type of flu virus confirmed in the community, influenza A and H1N1 and is more likely to affect children with infants being most at risk.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says since September, there have been 14 confirmed cases of the flu.

He says of the 14 cases, nine have been under the age of 17.

Dr. Ahmed says the most prevalent strain is the H1N1 virus.

"This year it is affecting more children so we just want to take this opportunity to remind parents and our community to be vigilant and to keep an eye on their children and get vaccinated if they haven't done so yet," says Dr. Ahmed.    

He adds it's hard to compare the strain and confirmed cases on a year to year basis.

"It's hard to do an apple to apple comparison because there have been some changes in how the influenza cases are detected and tested but generally speaking it is comparable but the bulk of the cases are in the younger adults," says Dr. Ahmed.      

Dr. Ahmed is encouraging all pregnant women and kids over the age of six months get the flu shot. 

He says getting the vaccine during pregnancy protects the mother and infant for the first six months of life.

According to the health unit, annually there are an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3500 deaths in Canada are attributed to the flu.

Meanwhile, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj say the Met campus has dealt with 11 cases, nine of those are paediatric.

He says seven of the nine are of a flu strain covered by the current vaccine.

- with files from AM800's Teresinha Medeiros and Rob Hindi