Ontario's doctors remind everyone to take the right steps to prevent the flu

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - This holiday season, Ontario's doctors have a prescription to keep you and your family free of the flu.

"The busy holiday season is a prime time for the spread of the flu virus because of all the holiday gatherings and parties," said Dr. Mike Toth, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "The good news is: it's not too late to get the flu shot to protect yourself, and those around you from getting sick."

The level of flu activity can be unpredictable, so while flu levels have been very low leading up to the holiday season, it can pick up at any time. For those who haven't yet done so, Ontario's doctors recommend you get the flu shot as soon as possible. It is available at doctor's offices around the province. Being immunized not only helps protect you from getting sick, but it also helps to stop the spread of the virus to your loved ones or co-workers who may be vulnerable.

"The best protection against the flu is getting the flu shot," said Dr. Toth. "The sooner you get it, the sooner you are protected."

Some other ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu include:

  • Wash your hands with soap frequently and thoroughly, especially before eating.
  • Keep alcohol based sanitizer handy at work and home.
  • Clean and disinfect common surfaces that a lot of people touch.
  • Cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or bend of your arm, not into your hand.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.

It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the flu. The flu is highly contagious and is spread when people come into contact with those who have the flu, or touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their mouths, eyes or noses. Thus far, H3N2 has been the predominant flu strain in circulation.  This is the same strain that was prevalent last year, which resulted in very high levels of flu activity.

"Every year thousands of patients in Ontario get sick with the flu, which can lead to serious illness, hospitalization or even death for those most vulnerable among us – seniors, children and people with chronic diseases," said Dr. Toth.

The flu is more severe than a cold. It can cause fever, cough, aching muscles and joints, nausea, chills, sweats, and more debilitating symptoms than those caused by a cold.

For more information on the flu please visit http://tinyurl.com/OMAflu

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations, BB: 647-300-0081, Office: 416-599-2580 ext. 3008, Email: danielle.milley@oma.org; OMA Media Relations, 416-340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215, ext. 2862, media@oma.org


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