Community

Flu clinics have begun

Flu clinics across the Interior Health region have begun.  Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the sniffles, fever, aches and pains that accompany the flu. The sooner you get your flu shot - the sooner you and those around you will be protected.

“People can spread the influenza virus before they show any symptoms at all,” .says Dr. Parker, Medical Health Officer for Interior Health. ”That’s why it is very important to wash your hands throughout the day - especially after sneezing, or coughing as well as before and after visiting daycares, hospitals or healthcare facilities.  And if you are feeling sick stay home to avoid exposing others to the virus.”

Influenza (the flu) spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, face-to-face contact and by touching surfaces such as door knobs and telephones that have been contaminated with the virus. Influenza is the leading cause of preventable death due to infectious disease in Canada, killing thousands of Canadians every year and hospitalizing thousands more. Seniors, infants under two and people with chronic illness are most at risk from complications that can result from the flu.

This year’s vaccine contains three different flu strains, one of which is the pandemic strain (H1N1) that circulated in 2009-2010.

“The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chances of getting influenza and if you do get the flu it will reduce the severity of your symptoms,” says Dr. Rob Parker. “If you aren’t eligible for the free clinics, you can still get a flu shot. Check with your pharmacist or doctor to find out about getting vaccinated.”

Flu shots are available at free flu clinics for:

 

·People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts

·Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts

·Children and adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Acetylsalicylic acid and their household contacts

·Adults who are very obese

·Aboriginal people

·Healthy children age 6-23 months

·Household contacts and caregivers of infants age 0-23 months

·Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts (pregnant women who are in other high risk groups can be immunized at any time during the pregnancy)

·Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities

·Health care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk of influenza complications

·Inmates and staff of provincial correctional institutions

·People who work with live poultry and/or swine

 

In Lake Country flu shots are available on November 4 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the Senior’s Centre located at 9830 Bottom Wood Lake Road.

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