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?
How does the flu spread?
With these actions, tiny droplets are produced containing the virus and can be inhaled by someone close to that person in the:
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?
- Fever (39°C and above)
- Muscle ache
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- 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:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
What do you do if you become ill?
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?
- Attending large group events or gatherings
- Being in crowded conditions
- Traveling on cruise ships or joining large commercial tours
Who is most at risk?
- Pre-existing health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- 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
- Care for or are expecting a newborn during the flu season
- Healthcare workers
- Childcare workers
How is the flu diagnosed?
- Symptom analysis
- Laboratory tests
How is the flu treated?
- 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?
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
REACH US OUT
For more details about our flu shots, please send us a message here at your convenience.