November 4 2019
HAMILTON, ON - Flu season has arrived, and the flu shot is now available. The flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family from getting sick with the flu this season. While flu season typically runs from late fall to early spring it’s important to get your flu shot early because it takes two weeks to take effect.
The flu is a serious illness that affects the breathing system. It starts suddenly and often lasts longer than a cold. Symptoms include: fever, headache, body aches, chills, tiredness, weakness, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose and sore throat. Certain groups, such as young children, pregnant women, and those over 65 years of age are at higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu and should make sure to get the flu vaccine every year.
“It’s a good idea for everyone in your family who is six months of age and older to get the flu shot – the earlier in the season the better. Protecting yourself from the flu by getting the flu shot also protects people around you, such as young children and seniors, who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from the flu.”
Dr. Bart Harvey
Associate Medical Officer of Health
Where to get your flu shot
- Anyone six months of age and older can get the flu shot from their primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner, or walk-in clinic).
- Anyone five years of age and older can also get the flu shot from a participating pharmacy.
Prevent the spread of the flu
The flu virus spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People can also get the flu by touching objects or surfaces with the virus on them and then their mouth or nose.
In addition to getting the flu shot, you should also take everyday precautions which include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and warm water
- Using an alcohol-based hand rub if there is no soap and water
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Avoid touching your face
- Cleaning shared objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches or keys often as the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to eight hours
- Not sharing food, drinks or personal items like toothbrushes
- Resting, sleeping, being active and eating nutritious food
- Staying home when you are sick
Lower your flu risk. Go to your doctor, pharmacist or clinic to get your flu shot today. For more information about the flu shot, visit www.hamilton.ca/flu or call 905-546-2489.