print header

MOH Column

Current   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013    2012    2011

Time for your flu shot

Nov 07, 2012
Each year you hear a lot about influenza, a virus commonly known as “the flu”, and the need to protect ourselves and our families by getting our flu shot. You hear this because influenza can be a very serious respiratory illness, and immunization is a safe and effective way of preventing its spread.

Each year you hear a lot about influenza, a virus commonly known as “the flu”, and the need to protect ourselves and our families by getting our flu shot.  You hear this because influenza can be a very serious respiratory illness, and immunization is a safe and effective way of preventing its spread.

For many of you, getting the flu may result in symptoms that range from a cough and stuffy nose to muscle aches and extreme weakness.  For infants and children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems, getting the flu can require hospitalization and in the most serious cases can lead to death.

On an annual basis, it is estimated that the flu leads to 20,000 hospitalizations and between 4,000 and 8,000 deaths across Canada, most commonly among seniors. But these numbers would likely be far higher if people weren’t getting vaccinated. In Ontario alone, it is estimated that the influenza vaccine prevents 30,000 emergency room visits, 1,000 hospitalizations and 300 deaths per year.

It’s important to get immunized every fall because influenza is very easily spread from person to person when you cough or sneeze, and you can even begin spreading the flu before you actually feel sick. 

You can also help prevent spreading the flu by practicing good hand hygiene as the virus can also be transmitted by touching various objects after coughing or sneezing, such as a handrail, a computer or even a children’s toy.

Unlike a cold, if you do get the flu, it makes you feel ill enough to prevent you from going to work or school for up to seven days.  The best prevention is the flu shot, and there are many ways to get it this year:

From the health unit – public flu clinics will be run across Simcoe Muskoka on every Wednesday and Saturday during the month of November, and you can book an appointment online;

  • From a healthcare provider – many of you can get your flu shot from your family doctor or at a walk-in clinic; and
  • From participating pharmacies – new this year, pharmacists in Ontario will be able to give the flu shot to clients.

For more information about the importance of getting immunized, or to book an appointment for your flu shot, please visit http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Your Health Connection Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) and speak with a public health nurse.

-30-

Dr. Lee is one of Simcoe Muskoka’s associate medical officers of health.


Did you find what you were looking for?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...