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Flu Season is Here. Should you get the Flu Shot?

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The temperatures are dropping and along with it, the flu season rolls in.

Experts are suggesting that this year’s flu season will be milder than the last. You may be wondering if you should bother getting a flu shot. The simple answer is yes.

Complications from the flu can cause pneumonia and flu cases cause about 3,500 deaths in Canada every year. Babies (under 6 months), pregnant women, seniors (those 65 and older), and anyone with a chronic health condition are most at risk.

What you Need to Know about the 2018 Flu Vaccine

The best time to get the flu shot is as it becomes available, which is from mid-October to November. It takes your body 2 weeks to build enough immunity to ward off the flu virus.

You can get your flu shot at your doctor’s office, your local public health department, a flu shot clinic or your local pharmacy.

Other Precautions

Besides getting the flu shot, you can keep from getting sick by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Also remember to wash your hands regularly, and cover your mouth when you cough, by coughing into your armpit. If you are not feeling well, it is always best to stay at home to keep from spreading your illness. You should stay at home until your fever has passed for at least 24 hours.

Despite Best Efforts, You’ve Got the Flu

Suddenly you feel feverish and you’ve got a headache and your throat is feeling raw. Despite all your precautions and best efforts, you’ve come down with a case of the flu.

Flu symptoms can run from mild to pretty severe and can come on very suddenly whereas the onset of the flu can be more gradual. Here are some symptoms you might experience:  fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, sometime diarrhea and vomiting.

A mild flu can be treated at home with rest and painkillers such as Tylenol® to control the fever and body aches. Anyone aged 18 years or under should not take aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), as this can cause a rare but very serious complication called Reye’s Syndrome.

Your doctor can prescribe an antiviral drug to combat the flu which will prevent more serious complications setting in.

Flu Shot High Dose

Those at high risk for developing complications of the flu virus, or those who are more likely to spread the flu virus (such as healthcare workers) due to their occupation or proximity to those persons who are at high risk, should seek to get immunized as soon as the vaccine is available.

The high dose flu shot known as Fluzone® is only authorized for those 65 years of age and over.

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