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.
|FEVER||Rare||Usual, high fever (102°F / 39°C - 104°F / 40°C), sudden onset, lasts 3-4 days|
|HEADACHE||Rare||Usual, can be severe|
|GENERAL ACHES AND PAINS||Sometimes, mild||Usual, often severe|
|FATIGUE AND WEAKNESS||Sometimes, mild||Usual, severe, may last 2-3 weeks or more|
|EXTREME FATIGUE||Unusual||Usual, early onset, can be severe|
|RUNNY, STUFFY NOSE||Common||Common|
|CHEST DISCOMFORT, COUGHING||Sometimes, mild to moderate||Usual, can become severe|
|COMPLICATIONS||Can lead to sinus congestion or earache||Can 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
- 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.