Winter is just around the corner, and so is the flu. In an effort to protect yourself, your family, and your community from this highly contagious and potentially deadly virus, the Ontario government is once again offering residents of Ontario free vaccination against influenza (the flu).
Thousands of people – young and old – become seriously ill and many die from flu-related complications. Typical flu symptoms include a high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, sore throat, sniffles, and a cough. The flu leaves your body’s defences weak and open to other infections such as pneumonia, and heart or kidney failure.
The flu virus spreads rapidly from person to person through coughing and sneezing, and will affect almost one in four working Canadians this year. This virus thrives in a typical office environment and can actually survive up to 48 hours on surfaces like telephone receivers, computer keyboards, doorknobs, countertops, and toys. An infected person can be contagious for about a day before their symptoms appear and up to one week afterwards.
Vaccination against influenza is the single most effective way to ensure a flu-free season. Today’s influenza vaccine is extremely safe and most people have little or no reaction to it. The best time to get your flu shot is between October and November each year.
The influenza vaccine is available in various sites including doctors’ offices, community-based clinics, pharmacies, and workplaces. Watch your local newspapers for upcoming clinic dates, check the Health Unit website at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca or call 376-9420 (or 1-800-263-3456) for more information.
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