Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada
The Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada is encouraging all Canadians to consider getting a flu shot to prevent the spread of influenza and promote the overall health of Canadians.
Influenza – or flu, as it is commonly called - is a serious, highly contagious infection of the airways caused by the influenza virus. It circulates annually during the winter months in Canada. Influenza and its complications results in significant loss of productivity and employee absenteeism and can be related to between 2,000 and 8,000 deaths in Canada each year.
The flu is very different from a common cold. It usually begins with a headache, chills and cough, and is quickly followed by high fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fatigue, sneezing, runny nose, and throat irritation. Young children may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, symptoms last 7-10 days.
People most at risk for influenza include the very young and the very old, those with compromised immune systems and people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, or heart, kidney, or lung disease. It is important to remember that even if you do not have the flu, you may still transmit it to others, particularly those at high risk.
“The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true”, says Sherri Huckstepp, Regional VP Community Services and Chief Practice Executive at VON Canada. “The most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection are to wash your hands frequently and get the flu shot every year. “ Other preventative measures include covering your coughs and sneezes with your arm or sleeve, keeping your hands away from your face, and staying home if you are sick.
Public Health, VON and others offers influenza immunization clinics in communities across Canada. Please call your local office of VON for more information on how to receive your flu shot.