High flu activity reported in Ontario

As flu activity rises in Ontario, Rexall Pharma Plus encourages Ontarians to get their flu shot at any Rexall Pharma Plus any time*

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - With crowded malls and an increase in social activity during the holiday season, Rexall Pharma Plus is encouraging Ontarian's to prevent the spread of the flu virus by getting their flu shot and taking preventative measures.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has recently announced high flu activity across the province.

" With the rise of influenza rates across Ontario, it is even more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu and the flu shot is the best protection," said Frank Scorpiniti, the CEO of Rexall Pharma Plus. "Getting a flu shot for Ontarians is as easy as visiting any of our more than 250 Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacies in the province with no appointment needed. We also recommend preventative measures especially as we tend to socialize more during the holiday season."

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently reported high flu activity in Ontarioi:

  • For the period September 1 to December 10, Ontario had 15 lab-confirmed cases of influenza last year and 729 reported cases this year. In the same time period last year, the province had no flu institutional outbreaks; this year there have been 49.
  • Seasonal influenza annually results in up to 1,000 hospitalizations and up to 1,600 deaths in Ontario.
  • Expert scientific studies show Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) annually saves the health care system 30,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms and 200,000 visits to doctors' offices.

The number one preventative measure against the flu is the flu shot.ii Rexall Pharma Plus also supports Public Health Agency of Canada's other simple steps to prevent the spread of the flu virus, especially important now as more Ontarians are out and about during the holiday season:

  • Wash your hands frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing and sneezing, and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective in killing viruses.iii
  • Keep your hands away from your face. In most cases, the flu virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.iii
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.iii
  • Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected. Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with regular household disinfectants can help. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.iii
  • If you get sick, stay home. If you think you have the flu, you should stay home until your symptoms are gone. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider.iii

Rexall Pharma Plus will offer flu shots in any store, any time, no appointment needed* across Ontario. Flu shots in pharmacies are available to all Ontarians over the age of five years old. Visit Rexall.ca for your nearest Rexall Pharma Plus location.

About Rexall Pharma Plus
With a heritage dating back to 1904, Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacies are among the most trusted names in retail pharmacy. Rexall Pharma Plus is focused on helping Canadians feel good about their health through easy access to a wide assortment of health and wellness services and products. Supported by our team of 8,600 employees in more than 420 Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacies across the country, Rexall Pharma Plus is continually evolving to enhance the customer experience. For more information visit Rexall.ca

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*Based on vaccine availability.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care - High Flu Activity in Ontario. http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2012/12/high-flu-activity-in-ontario.html.   Last accessed December 24, 2012.

ii Public Health Agency of Canada. Flu Prevention Checklist. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/influenza/flupc-eng.php. Last accessed October 21, 2012.

SOURCE: Rexall

For further information:

Michelle Lee  
Rexall Pharma Plus 
P: 905.501.7894 M: 647-338-4340  
mslee@rexall.ca