Algoma Public Health, Sault Area Hospital and the Group Health Centre want the community to be healthy during this flu season.
Influenza, or the flu, is a very contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms include rapid onset of high fever, headache, sore throat, cough, and muscle aches and pains.
“The flu is not the same as a cold. The flu can be a very serious illness,” said Dr. Barker, medical officer of health at Algoma Public Health. “When you get a flu shot, you reduce the risk of passing on the virus to other people – especially those at high risk of complications. Vaccination creates immunity to protect us from infections.”
Those at higher risk include the elderly, people with chronic medical conditions, and children between the ages of six and 59 months of age. Medical complications from influenza infections include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.
The flu shot is available through your health care provider, participating pharmacies or by appointment from Algoma Public Health. To book an appointment, please call 705-541-2332 or Toll Free at 1-800-469-2449.
Besides getting immunized, one of the best ways to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect vulnerable members of the public is to stay home when sick. Do not visit relatives in their homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals if you are sick.
Stay healthy this flu season. Here’s how:
• Get your flu shot.
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds.
• Cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or a tissue, not in your hand. Dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
• Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue).