Medical Advisory - Laboratory Confirmed Influenza Outbreaks in Niagara

Released December 20, 2017

​Issued by: Dr. Andrea Feller, MD, MS, FAAP FACPM, Associate Medical Officer of Health

Influenza Surveillance

  • ​Niagara Region Public Health has declared influenza outbreaks in long-term care homes
  • Health care providers are recommended to have a heightened awareness of respiratory symptoms and suspect influenza as a causative agent

Prevention & Management

  • ​The preferred and most sensitive method of diagnosis is the nasopharyngeal swab (NP) for those patients identified to be high risk for influenza complications
  • For those at risk of complications, oseltamivir (Tamiflu), started within 24 hours of symptom onset, is recommended. Therapy should not be delayed while awaiting test results given the short window to begin treatment.

Influenza Vaccine

  • ​Influenza vaccine has been shipped to providers
  • Health care providers are encouraged to recommend influenza vaccine to all persons over 6 months of age. Particular emphasis is encouraged towards those at high risk of complications
    • ​Children aged 6–59 months
    • People > 65 years
    • Pregnant women in all trimesters
    • Persons with underlying health conditions (e.g. cardiopulmonary or renal disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, or weakened immune systems)
  • ​Likely to spread to vulnerable groups
    • Health care workers
    • Household contacts of those at high risk
    • Persons who provide child care to children under five years of age


For further information, please contact Niagara Region Public Health, Vaccine Preventable Disease program at 1-888-505-6074 or 905-688-8248 ext. 7425 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., after hours 905-984-3690.

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