Getting a flu shot is important every year, and particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting vaccinated will help reduce the spread of influenza in our communities and help reduce the impact on the health care system if we do see a surge of people becoming ill from the COVID-19 virus.
Influenza is a severe respiratory infection caused by influenza A and B viruses and is commonly referred to as "the flu." The symptoms, although cold-like, are far more serious and can include the sudden onset of headache, chills, fatigue, and cough accompanied with body aches and fever.
Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza.
WHO SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT?
Everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador 6 months old and above should get a flu shot.
Public Health is recommending everyone get the flu shot, especially those people at high-risk of flu-related complications, including:
· Adults 65 years old and above;
· Anyone with a chronic medical condition;
· Residents in nursing homes, long-term care homes, and personal care homes;
· Health care workers;
· Care providers for children under the age of 5;
· Workers providing care in closed facilities such as correctional facilities; and,
· Pregnant women.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE FLU?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by many viruses. It affects the nose, throat and lungs.
· High fever;
· Aches and pains;
· Extreme fatigue and weakness;
· Runny or stuffy nose;
· Coughing and chest discomfort; or,
· Sore throat.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM THE FLU?
Most people recover from the flu in 5 to 7 days.
If you have the flu, please stay home. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of clear liquids.
You can speak to your health care provider or call 811 to get advice on what you can do to manage your symptoms or whether you need to seek additional medical care.
For some people, the flu can be serious. If you’re in one of the high-risk groups, please monitor your symptoms.
If your symptoms get worse or your symptoms last a long time, please speak to your health care provider.
Possible complications of the flu include pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions, or death.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM GETTING THE FLU?
To avoid getting and spreading the flu:
· Get the flu shot;
· Wash your hands frequently;
· Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow;
· Stay home if you are sick;
· Limit contact with other people while you are sick;
· Limit contact with others who are sick;
· Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth;
· Don’t share utensils, bottles, cosmetics; and,
· Disinfect surfaces regularly like taps, doorknobs and countertops