Not too late to get flu shot

by Symptom Advice on January 17, 2012

Influenza season runs until April so it’s not too late to get immunized against influenza — commonly called the flu.

It’s a highly contagious infection of the airways caused by the influenza virus and can spread rapidly infecting those around you.

Each year, influenza causes illness among millions of Canadians.

“Some people resign themselves to getting sick in the winter months but influenza is not a mild illness like the common cold,” says Dr. Susan Bowles, chair of the Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness & Promotion. “Influenza is a serious viral infection with symptoms of cough, fever, fatigue and weakness, headache, general aches and pains and respiratory congestion, and it can take several weeks to recover.”

Influenza can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, for some individuals.

It is estimated that between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians can die of influenza and its complications annually, depending on the severity of the season.

“There have been about a dozen confirmed cases of a new variant of H3N2 reported in the US but this new strain has not been seen in Canada at this point,” Dr. Bowles said.

“This year’s influenza immunization includes an H3N2 that matches the H3N2 virus that is circulating in Canada. It is a safe and effective way to prevent getting sick and spreading the virus to those around you.”

Influenza activity is increasing in Canada and it is not too late to protect yourself and your family by getting immunized.

Talk to your local public health department or your health care provider about getting this year’s influenza vaccine.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 16, 2012

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