Though a bit later than usual, the cold and flu season is back! And since freezing temperatures mean we are more likely to stay indoors, the flu virus gets a chance to spread quickly. Sure, the flu can be a nuisance, but it can also be very serious and should not be underestimated. Each year in Canada, influenza causes 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths.
Luckily there is a vaccine to protect us from this disease, and it’s not too late to get it. In addition to the flu vaccine, the Government of Canada also recommends you take the following measures to protect yourself and those around you against the flu:
- Wash your hands frequently. (If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer and keep a small bottle handy for easy access. And don’t be shy—use as often as needed.)
- Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with your hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as all bathroom surfaces, counters, keyboards, mouse pads, telephones, headsets, chair arms, and shared office supplies.
- Practise healthy habits to help your body fight off infection, such as eating nutritious foods (especially fruits and vegetables), drinking lots of water, staying physically active, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress effectively.
If you do get sick, stay home and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms are gone. This will help prevent the spread of the virus and keep us all healthy.
Have a healthy winter!
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Note about author: Ines Puentes is a Clinical Coordinator at Novus Health.