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WHAT IS THE FLU?

Flu (influenza) is caused by a virus which is spread through the air by fluids produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or by direct contact with these fluids on surfaces or objects. The flu virus is highly contagious, and you usually experience symptoms 5 to 7 days after contact. Flu symptoms are not the same as common cold symptoms. Flu symptoms, which can last for weeks, are more severe and include high fever, muscular aches and pains, headache, coughing and sore throat.

 

WHY SHOULD I GET THE FLU SHOT?

The flu shot is your best defense against the flu, better preparing your body to quickly destroy the flu virus if in contact. Health Canada recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months, including those who are pregnant.

 

I GOT THE FLU SHOT LAST YEAR. DO I NEED IT AGAIN?

Flu virus strains change every year. Having the flu shot annually will help keep you protected from these new strains.

 

WHY SHOULD I GET THE FLU SHOT IF I AM HEALTHY?

You can be infected with the flu virus without showing any symptoms. Getting the flu shot helps protect yourself as well as those around you who may be vulnerable and at risk of severe complications from the flu.

 

CAN I GET THE FLU FROM THE FLU SHOT?

The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu.

 

WHAT OTHER STEPS CAN I TAKE TO PREVENT THE FLU?

Aside from the flu shot, frequent hand washing, staying active and eating a healthy and balanced diet can help. If you get the flu, stay home and get plenty of rest. See your pharmacist for symptomatic relief and advice.