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Getting a shot is but one of the ways of avoiding the flu this season, says a new Public Health web portal launched Thursday. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)
Getting a shot is but one of the ways of avoiding the flu this season, says a new Public Health web portal launched Thursday. (File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet)

Skip the flu this year

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If you're serious about avoiding the flu this year, this site's for you.

The Province of British Columbia, along with the other provinces and territories, has partnered with the Public Health Agency of Canada to launch a cross-Canada web portal, www.FightFlu.ca, which is active as of Thursday.

The portal is designed to provide Canadians with one-stop access to information about influenza, or “the flu” and ways to limit its spread.

Not everyone lives close to an urban centre with full access to clinics and other medical information sources, and this new portal is designed to be helpful for people no matter where they live, according to the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Federal Minister of Health.

“Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have collaborated on this project,” says Aglukkaq, “to ensure timely, consistent and relevant information on influenza prevention and control is available to Canadians no matter where they live.”

Understanding that Canada is home to many cultural groups, the portal provides information in over 10 languages, including fact sheets on influenza along with tips for avoiding infection.

The portal also lists province specific websites and most cities and towns in BC have flu clinics which can be located through the portal's Flu Clinic Locator.

Because the flu is such a common occurrence for most Canadians, a number of us don't realize the full implications of the illness nor how successfully it can be prevented, says Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones.

“It's important that we all take steps to protect ourselves, our families, and those around us,” says Butler-Jones. “Influenza can have serious health consequences, but it's a preventable illness.”

Information about the flu, how it spreads and how it is caught, along with simple tips to prevent infection, are all available at the new portal.

“FightFlu.ca provides a useful information tool for Canadians on protecting themselves from the flu,” says Minister Aglukkaq.


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