The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said two dogs imported from South Korea in late December were showing signs of a respiratory disease when a veterinarian examined them.
This is the first known appearance of the canine flu in Canada, however, the virus is widespread in part of Asia and various location of the United States.
"No vaccine is 100 percent effective", said Carolyn Kaltenberg, a nurse and immunization program manager with Grand Forks Public Health.
ODH also is reporting 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December. There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in OH since flu season began in October.
On social media, Medical City Lewisville educated the public on how to differentiate between the common cold, also normal in the winter weather, and the more serious flu virus.
In Cuyahoga County, there have been two flu-related deaths, including a 70-year-old woman.
"Many of my patients ask if anything can be done to help avoid catching or spreading the flu.", noted Combetta who also serves as hospitalist director and rehab director for the local medical facility.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Heath recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot. This is especially true for those most likely to suffer complications of the flu such as the elderly, chronically ill, and young children.
"Normally in a season, we'll see a peak of influenza A happening some time towards the end of December or through January", Murti said Monday. "But if you do get vaccinated and get influenza, hopefully, your symptoms will be less severe".
Each year the formula for the vaccine is developed based on last year's flu virus.
To be effective, the drugs must be taken in 12 to 48 hours from onset of symptoms, which include cough, muscle aches and fever.
In view of this information healthcare providers and patients need to do more than just vaccinate. Another factor is a fear of getting the flu from the vaccine.
"Flu is hard to predict", said ODH Medical Director Dr. Clint Koenig, in a statement.