What you need to know about flu season
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches and weakness. Influenza is spread from person to person through droplets and by touching objects and surfaces that are contaminated with the virus. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to complications from the flu, which can include pneumonia, heart attacks, and in some cases, death.
Flu season and COVID-19
As health officials respond to the second wave of COVID-19, some are concerned that the flu season might overwhelm hospitals and hinder efforts to stamp out COVID-19, especially if flu shot uptake is low. During the 2019-20 flu season, only 34% of Canadians reported receiving the influenza vaccine, according to Statistics Canada.
- The best way to prevent the flu is to get your annual flu shot.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Always wash your hands (using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer) after: using the washroom, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and handling garbage. Wash your hands before and after caring for someone who is sick, and before, during, and after preparing food.
- If you feel sick, stay at home.
- Avoid touching your face. Viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wearing a mask helps contain the spread of the flu and COVID-19 when used in combination with the practices listed above.
The flu shot
While it is important for everyone to be vaccinated, those at higher risk of complications from the flu should make it a priority. This includes adults 65 and over, people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, children between 6 months and 5 years of age, and those living with or providing care to individuals from a high-risk group. This year, we are working with our Ontario Health Team partners to offer flu shot clinics in our community. Stay tuned for more information about these clinics! We also offer a transportation service to help you get to a clinic, doctor’s office, or pharmacy to be vaccinated. Please call us at 416-481-6411 ext. 1225 to set up a ride to get your flu shot.