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Column: Here comes the flu

The flu season is here, so it's time to seriously consider getting your annual flu shot.
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Don't give flu shot a miss this season based on last year's failure, doctors say

This week we will look at some facts about the flu.

Flu season is just around the corner. Getting your flu shot has become easier in recent years as it is now available through your local pharmacies!

What is the Flu?

The flu, also called Influenza, is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Influenza type A and B viruses are the main causes of the flu.

The flu is easily spread from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, before you even know you are sick, you can pass the flu on to others.

What happens when you get the flu?

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • high fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing

Children may also have the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Most people will recover within a week up to 10 days. However, some people are at risk of complications. Complications include pneumonia which can lead to hospitalization or even death.

Who is most at risk for complications from the flu?

  • Young children
  • Adults aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Those living with a chronic health condition (for example cancer, heart disease, and asthma)

DID YOU KNOW? In Canada, an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu occur each year.

Why do you need to get the flu shot even if you got it last year?

Flu viruses change every year, therefore a new vaccine is made yearly to protect you for each flu season.

Can you get the flu from the flu vaccine?

No, the flu vaccine contains a killed or weakened flu virus and therefore cannot give you the flu.

Is the flu shot safe?

Yes!

The flu vaccine has benefited millions of Canadians since its introduction. Although there are always exceptions, the majority of people benefit more from getting the vaccine, and severe reactions are extremely rare.

How does getting the flu shot benefit others?

It benefits others greatly because once you protect yourself from the flu you also protect others as you are less likely to spread the flu. This is especially important for people who are at greater risk of complications for the flu such as your grandmother, your newborn baby, or your sister who has asthma.

At Academy Medical Pharmacy we will be providing free flu shots to everyone who is interested ages five and older. (Children less than five will still need to make an appointment with their doctor or come to our walk-in clinic). Flu shots are now available, so come by and make sure you are protected this flu season1

Any questions or concerns about the flu vaccine? Comment on this article and let me know! For the next blog we can look at your questions and go more in depth about the flu.

By Rachelle Laurin

 



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