Flu vaccine best protection against the flu
OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Flu season is here again, and the Public
Health Agency of Canada is reminding Canadians of the simple and
important steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved
ones from getting sick.
"The flu is a serious illness, more so than many might realize," said
federal Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq. "That's why it's important
that all Canadians over the age of six months take the necessary
precautions to protect themselves and those around them by getting the
Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory illness that spreads rapidly from
person to person. Every year, between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians die of
the flu and its complications, and even more become seriously ill and
require hospitalization. Everyone is at risk of catching the flu. For
most of us, catching the flu can mean a lot of discomfort. Usual
symptoms include headache, chills, a cough, fever, aching muscles,
runny nose, sneezing, and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and
diarrhea might also occur, especially in children.
For some, such as the elderly, children under six years of age, and
people with weakened immune systems, the flu can cause severe illness,
and even death.
"It's especially important for these high risk individuals and those at
close contact with them such as health care workers, household contacts
and caregivers, to protect themselves from the flu," said Deputy Chief
Public Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Taylor. "The flu shot is safe and
effective and offers the best protection against the flu virus for you
and your family."
Even if you got the flu shot last year, you should get it again this
year as your immunity may have decreased over time. As well, the flu
virus changes slightly every year so the vaccine is reformulated to
reflect the changes and to ensure protection against the most current
viruses circulating in the community.
In addition to getting your flu shot, washing your hands frequently with
warm, soapy water, coughing and sneezing in your arm, not your hand,
and staying home when you're sick can also help reduce the risk of
catching or spreading the flu.
To find out if you're at greater risk from the flu, or for information
on flu immunization in your area, visit Fightflu.ca.
Également offert en français
SOURCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada