Medical Arts Building

353 Saint Paul Avenue, Brantford, ON N3R 4N3

Phone: 519-751-4555 | Fax: 519-751-7222 | Email:

Boost your immune system to fight against flu

Several decades ago, the world’s leading cause of death was due to infectious diseases. Today, they only account for 5% of total deaths in Canada, thanks to our comprehensive immunization programs in the country.

Immunizations work to prevent the spread of common diseases among individuals and communities. With clinically proven flu shots, the disease risks for everyone reduces. In fact, in the last 50 years, immunization has saved more lives in Canada than any other health intervention; it is a cost-effective healthcare investment, making it a cornerstone to promote health.

Get vaccinated to protect you and your family from seasonal flu. Wincare Drug Mart offers free flu shots for patients aged at least five (5) with a valid Ontario Health Card.

What causes the flu?
The flu refers to the infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza A or B viruses.
How does the flu spread?
The flu spreads from person to person. Even if one doesn’t show symptoms, the virus can still spread by

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Talking

With these actions, tiny droplets are produced containing the virus and can be inhaled by someone close to that person in the:

  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Eyes

You can also get infected by touching objects contaminated by virus-containing droplets. Common high-touch objects include phones, TV remotes, a person’s hands, doorknobs, etc.

What are the symptoms of the flu?
Flu symptoms may range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever (39°C and above)
  • Muscle ache
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

Symptoms may appear from one (1) to four (4) days from exposure, and most people recover from seven (7) to ten (10) days. Others may also develop serious health complications (such as pneumonia) and may require hospital care.

Flu vs Cold
A cold typically affects the nose and throat, while the flu also affects the lungs. Cold symptoms are mostly unpleasant but are usually milder than the flu, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
What do you do if you become ill?
If you’re mild ill, stay at home and avoid contact with others until your symptoms are gone to prevent the spread of the virus.

If you have a high risk of developing flu-related complications, contact your healthcare provider right away, especially if you develop these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Blueish or gray skin color
  • Bloody or colored mucous in your mouth or spit
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or ongoing vomiting
  • High fever (39°C and above) that lasts more than 3 days

Before you meet with your doctor, tell them about your flu symptoms ahead. This way, they can arrange your appointment without exposing other patients to the virus.

Moreover, if your child shows the following flu symptoms, seek immediate medical help:

  • Irritable (does not want to play or be held)
  • Does not want to wake up or interact
  • Does not want to eat or drink as usual
What are the risks of getting the flu?
The risk of getting flu increases in the late fall and winter months, while the risk decreases during the rest of the year. The following activities may also increase your chances of acquiring the flu:

  • Attending large group events or gatherings
  • Being in crowded conditions
  • Traveling on cruise ships or joining large commercial tours
Who is most at risk?
The risk of getting the flu developing flu-related complications increases for individuals who/with:

  • Pre-existing health conditions, such as:
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Obesity
  • Older adults
  • Live in nursing homes and other care facilities
  • Children aged five (5) and below
  • Pregnant women
  • Are in close contact with high-risk groups, such as:
    • Family household member
    • Caregivers
  • Care for or are expecting a newborn during the flu season
  • Healthcare workers
  • Childcare workers
How is the flu diagnosed?
With your healthcare provider, the flu is diagnosed through:

  • Symptom analysis
  • Laboratory tests
How is the flu treated?
For mild flu, treatments include:

  • Fluids
  • Rest
  • Medication for fever or aches

However, children younger than six (6) should not take over-the-counter cough or flu medicines.

With your doctor’s prescription, antiviral drugs can also work against the flu, especially for individuals who are:

  • At high risk of flu-related complications
  • Very sick and need hospital care

Thus, take an antiviral medication as soon as possible.

How can flu be prevented?
The best way to prevent flu is by taking the flu vaccine (flu shot) every year; it is safe and effective, and most people don’t have reactions to the vaccine.

A flu shot can:

  • Protect you if you get exposed to the virus
  • Prevent you from getting sick
  • Make you less likely to spread the virus to others

Everyone aged six (6) months and older should get a flu shot, especially those who are:

  • At high risk of developing serious complications
  • Capable of spreading the virus to others

Apart from the vaccine, you can also protect yourself from the flu by:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Coughing or sneezing into the back of your arm
  • Avoiding touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with unwashed hands
  • Disinfecting high-touch objects every day
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Staying physically active
  • Getting enough sleep


For more details about our flu shots, please send us a message here at your convenience.