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More flu cases this year, so get your shot: province

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The provincial Health Department says the flu season is upon us -- with a higher number of laboratory-confirmed cases so far than in the past few years.

The government issued a news release this afternoon urging Manitobans to get the flu shot. It said it has an adequate supply of flu season vaccines.

"To be protected, health experts advise people to cover their cough, wash their hands and avoid contact with others if they think they have the flu," the government said in a news release this afternoon.

Influenza is generally spread by infected individuals sneezing and coughing or by direct physical contact. Symptoms may include fever and chills, cough, headaches, muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat and exhaustion.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should see their doctor or visit a walk-in clinic, ACCESS Centre, QuickCare clinic or local health clinic for assessment and treatment.

People at increased risk include seniors, residents of personal care homes, children under five years of age, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and those who are severely overweight.

For the week of Dec. 23 to 29 there were 21 cases of influenza A and two cases of influenza B reported. In addition to the flu, Manitobans are experiencing a high rate of respiratory syncitial virus, creating an overall prevalence of respiratory illness.

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