Has “the cough” made its way around your office or school yet?
Island Health offers these steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and other seasonal respiratory viruses:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers.
• Stay home when you’re sick or have flu symptoms and avoid visiting friends, family and loved ones who may have compromised immune systems, including people who live in long-term residential care facilities and patients in hospitals.
• Do not cough or sneeze into your hands – use your upper arm or a tissue.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Get a flu shot.
Island Health recommends the flu shot for everyone. They are free in B.C. for all children from six months to five years of age, people 65 years and older, pregnant women, Aboriginal people, and those with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems.
The vaccine is also important (and free) for anyone who lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of health complications from the flu, and for visitors to hospitals and long term care facilities.
Influenza is a serious respiratory illness.
Typically, influenza starts with sudden onset of fever, sore throat, cough and muscle aches, but you may have some or all of the following symptoms: fever and chills, body aches, headache, dry cough, weak and tired, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and loss of appetite.
Flu shots are available from a pharmacist, family doctor or at an Island Health Public Health clinic. To find a location, please go online to islandfluclinics.ca.