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5 FACTS ABOUT THE FLU

1. THE FLU IS MUCH WORSE THAN A BAD COLD

Commonly known as the flu, influenza is an infection in the airways caused by the influenza virus. The flu is easily caught and spread. Influenza symptoms are far more serious than cold symptoms.

SymptomColdInfluenza
FEVERRareUsual, high fever (102°F / 39°C - 104°F / 40°C), sudden onset, lasts 3-4 days
HEADACHERareUsual, can be severe
GENERAL ACHES AND PAINSSometimes, mildUsual, often severe
FATIGUE AND WEAKNESSSometimes, mild Usual, severe, may last 2-3 weeks or more
EXTREME FATIGUEUnusualUsual, early onset, can be severe
RUNNY, STUFFY NOSECommonCommon
SNEEZINGCommon Sometimes
SORE THROATCommonCommon
CHEST DISCOMFORT, COUGHINGSometimes, mild to moderateUsual, can become severe
COMPLICATIONSCan lead to sinus congestion or earacheCan lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, can worsen a current chronic condition, can be life-threatening

2. IMMUNIZATION IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE PREVENTION

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the flu vaccine for all segments of the population. Vaccination reduces the seriousness of the disease should you contract it and is the only preventative measure that has been proven to reduce the rates of flu-related deaths.

3. PROTECTING YOURSELF PROTECTS OTHERS

As people get vaccinated, the influenza virus has less chance to multiply and circulate. If you don't get the flu, you cannot spread it to people around you, benefiting those who may be at risk of severe complications from influenza, such as the elderly or people with weakened immune systems.

4. FOR SOME PEOPLE, IMMUNIZATION IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT

Including:

  • Anyone with chronic heart or lung disease, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis
  • Anyone with diabetes or another metabolic disease, cancer, kidney disease, a blood disorder, or a weakened immune system
  • Anyone who is 65 or older
  • Anyone who lives, works or volunteers in a nursing home, chronic care facility, retirement home or other health care setting
  • Emergency service workers including fire, police and ambulance staff
  • Anyone travelling to places where the flu virus is likely circulating
  • Anyone who lives in the same household or is in contact with people at risk, such as those mentioned above
  • Healthy children aged 6-23 months

5. NEW FLU STRAINS MEAN A NEW VACCINE EACH YEAR

The flu vaccines produced each year are different, created with the flu strains predicted to be the most troublesome that year. You need to receive a new flu shot or nasal spray each year to be protected against the current strains.

What is the flu?

Seasonal influenza (flu) is a common and highly contagious respiratory infection that affects the nose, throat and lungs. Protect yourself and others by getting an annual flu shot or nasal spray.

Who should get the flu shot or spray?

While it's recommended that most people get immunized*, the flu vaccine is especially recommended for people in these groups:

  • People with chronic conditions
  • People with morbid obesity
  • People who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
  • People age 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • Aboriginal peoples

Speak to your pharmacist about the flu vaccine today.

*Speak to your pharmacist for eligibility.

The information herein is presented strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please contact your health care provider if you have any questions about your condition, medication, or treatment.