Flu

The free injectable flu vaccine will be available through public health clinics across the province, at some physician and Nurse Practitioner offices, and from participating pharmacies starting October 31, 2016.

Please check with your local health region or call your regional public health office to find out where flu shot clinics are being held.

Helpline: 1-888-566-LUNG (5864)

Call our toll-free number, 1-888-566-LUNG(5864), to speak to a Certified Respiratory Educator if you have any questions about the flu, Monday to Friday 8:30AM to 4:30PM

More Information/Flu Links

What is the "Flu"?

The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus.

In most people, the flu is uncomfortable, tiring, and can keep you bedridden for many days. In seniors, young children, and people with chronic (long-term) lung diseases like asthma and COPD, the flu can be more serious. Each year the flu causes 500- 1500 deaths in Canada, possibly more.

Continue reading What is the "Flu"?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of the Flu?

  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes
  • Throat irritation

 

Differences between a Flu and a Common Cold

Most people have trouble deciding if it is the flu or a cold. This chart is provided to help you know the difference.

Symptoms Cold flu
Fever Rare Usually
Cough Mild Common;
can be severe
Headache Rare Almost always
Runny,
stuffy nose
Common Sometimes
Aches and pains Slight Usually
Onset Gradually gets worse over a few days Comes on quickly and severely

How is the Flu Diagnosed?

Often flu is diagnosed by observing the symptoms. It can be precisely diagnosed using lab tests. Doctors can pinpoint which flu virus is infecting you by taking a swab from your nose or throat, and sending the swab to the lab for testing.

The lab testing shows whether or not the swab sample contains flu virus, and if there is a flu virus, which exact strain it is. Knowing which flu strain is affecting people helps doctors and public health officials keep track of the disease. Doctors also use the test to check that it is the flu that's making you sick, and not some other disease.

What is The Treatment for the Flu?

  • Rest: Stay home and in bed to allow your body to recover and to prevent spreading your flu germs to other people. Get lots of sleep.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medicines: You can take acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol), ibuprofen (for example, Advil), or another fever reducer/painkiller to get relief from headache, fever, and muscle aches. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medicine is right for you.
  • Antiviral medications: In some cases doctors may prescribe antiviral medications for people with the flu. There are pros and cons to this; your doctor will decide whether antivirals are right for you.
  • See your doctor if you are not improving.

How is the Flu Prevented?

Get the flu shot every year

The flu shot is your best defense against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for most people over 6 months old, and especially recommended for people in high-risk groups:

  • Seniors
  • Children
  • Childcare workers
  • Healthcare workers
  • People with weak immune systems
  • People with chronic (long-term) diseases like asthma and COPD

The flu shot is not recommended for certain people:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past
  • Children less than 6 months old
  • People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever; they should wait until their symptoms lessen before they get the flu shot.

Wash your hands properly and often

How to wash your hands:

  • Remove any jewelry
  • Wet your hands with warm water
  • Apply soap
  • Scrub with soap all over your hands and under nails for 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday)
  • Rinse your hands for 10 seconds under warm water
  • Dry your hands completely with a paper towel
  • Turn the tap off with a paper towel to avoid getting your hands dirty again

When to wash your hands:

  • Before you eat or prepare food
  • After you use the bathroom or change diapers
  • After you blow you nose, sneeze or cough into your sleeve
  • Before and after taking care of someone who is sick

Download a printable version of this handwashing poster. Post it at home, at school, and at work.

2015/2016 Flu Vaccines

The vaccines used this year contain two influenza A viral components (H1N1 and H3N2) and one or two influenza B viral component, which have been identified by the World Health Organization as most likely to circulate in 2015-2016.

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Flu medications come in various forms

•intramuscular injection • nasal inhalation • intramuscular or subcutaneous injection • orally • Diskhaler® • 

Watch these videos.


Products used to treat flu include

AAgriflu® vaccine •FFluad Pediatric™ •Fluad® influenza vaccine •FluMist® Quadrivalent intranasal vaccine •Fluviral® vaccine •Fluzone® High-Dose influenza vaccine •Fluzone® Quadrivalent influenza vaccine •IInfluvac® vaccine •NNat-Oseltamivir Capsule •RRelenza® •TTamiflu® capsules •Tamiflu® suspension •

Active ingredients used to treat flu include

iinfluenza vaccine, inactivated • influenza vaccine-live, attenuated • ooseltamivir • zzanamivir • 

Page Last Updated: 07/10/2016