flu virus prevention

The Flu Virus

Anyone can catch the flu virus

Protect yourself — and others — by learning about the virus and recognizing the symptoms.

Flu shots are now available for people at higher risk of flu complications. Talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or visit a public health unit. As the cold weather approaches, Greely Pharmasave is reminding everyone about the importance of getting their flu shot to protect themselves from getting the flu virus and spreading it to others.

Each year, thousands of people across the province get sick with the flu, which puts extra pressure on hospitals and the health care system. The flu shot provides the best defense and is a proven way to reduce emergency department visits and wait times to help end hallway health care.

“Every Ontarian can join our efforts to put an end to hallway health care by getting their flu shot,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario Health Minister. “In fact, getting your flu shot is an important part of keeping all Ontarians healthy and out of hospital, while reducing the strain on our emergency departments. Flu shots will be available across the province to protect you and your family.”

The flu shot is especially important for young children, pregnant women and people 65 years and older who are at high risk of flu-related complications. It will be available at family doctor and nurse practitioner offices, public health units and participating pharmacies for anyone five years of age or older. For children between six months and four years old, the shot can be administered by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Quick Facts About the Flu Virus & Flu Shots

  • The flu virus is a contagious illness that can result in a hospital stay or can lead to complications such as pneumonia, heart attack or, in rare cases, death.
  • Flu season can start as early as November. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to reach full effect, so be sure to get the shot as soon as it’s available.
  • Young children – especially those under two – pregnant women and seniors are particularly at risk of serious complications due to the flu.
  • A 2018 Canadian study found that people are six times more likely to have a heart attack in the week after having the flu, and this risk may be higher among those 65 years and older.
  • Last flu season, there were about 5,450 flu-related hospitalizations in Ontario and 275 flu-related deaths.

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