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Influenza

The flu vaccine is your best defence.

young boy getting flu vaccine

The flu (Influenza) is a serious respiratory illness that cannot be treated with antibiotics. On average, the flu and its complications send about 20,000 Canadians to hospital each year. Getting the flu vaccine is your best defence against the flu for you and your family.

In Canada, flu season traditionally begins in October and can continue until May, with peak season usually beginning in December. This is why it’s important to get the flu vaccine, and to get it early, so you have added protection against the flu all season long.

The flu virus spreads easily from person to person through a cough or sneeze. It can also be spread through indirect contact with common household surfaces like doorknobs, toys, remotes, phones and tablets.

Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, extreme fatigue and muscle aches. Most people who get the flu recover in about a week, however, for infants, children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses, it can sometimes last longer, leading to more serious complications like pneumonia.

The flu vaccine is free and your best defence against the flu. Simply book an appointment with your health care provider. No health care provider? No problem! Visit a participating pharmacy at your convenience for anyone over the age of five. If your child is between the ages of six months and five years, and you do not have a health care provider, contact Public Health for an appointment by calling 519-539-9800 or toll free at 1-800-755-0394.

 

More information about the flu

Get the flu facts: Visit Government of Ontario's Flu Facts page for information on how to protect yourself from the flu and recognize symptoms.

Flu vaccine safety: Learn about the science on how the flu shot works, what’s in it and how it can protect you from the virus on the Government of Ontario’s Flu vaccine safety page.

Staying Healthy: Learn how to reduce your risk of catching and spreading infections in this fact sheet from Oxford County Public Health.

Questions about immunization? Visit www.immunize.ca for science-based information, including a special section for parents.

 

For health professionals

Influenza activity in Oxford County (2016-2017): Weekly updates