According to Holden, one of the best ways to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine.
Last year, there were 160 confirmed cases of influenza in the region with 45 hospitalizations and six deaths related to the virus. They include three people in New Castle County and three Kent County residents.
A person develops antibodies approximately two weeks after vaccination and these antibodies provide protection against infection from viruses that are the same as or similar to those used to make the vaccine, Hughes said. "So we will be able to get some here for the next month or so, I think", said Beyer.
Interior Health also reminds the public that during the influenza season visitors who have not had a flu shot are required to wear a mask when visiting Interior Health hospitals, health centres and residential care facilities, including contracted facilities.
"It gives your body an opportunity to fight the flu before you get it", he said. This helps people who can't get a flu shot for health or medical reasons, by limiting the spread of the virus - those who are protected act as a barrier to the spread of the virus to others. However, if you have a fresh tattoo or a wound in the injection zone, get the shot in the other arm. People who have severe, life threatening allergies to the ingredients in the flu vaccine (such as eggs or gelatin) also can't be vaccinated.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Vaccinated people have less chance of missing family, school and work events due to influenza illness.
The CDC notes that talking on your phone spreads germs from your respiratory system onto the screen, some of which can cause the flu. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet. If you can't wash your hands when you're out, use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
The flu typically starts with high fever, headaches and muscle pain, progressing to sore throat and cough, usually lasting around seven days.