Get shot for flu season: clinics open
Oct 22, 2012 / 12:45 pm
It's that time of year again.
Interior Health has set up flu clinics across the region.
According to health officials, getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the flu and its complications.
Seniors, infants under five and people with chronic illness are most at risk of serious illness or complications that can result from the flu.
"Many people incorrectly use the term flu to refer to any illness caused by a virus such as the stomach flu or the common cold. However, the influenza virus causes illness that tends to be more severe than other viruses," says Interior Health Medical Officer, Dr. Rob Parker.
"Influenza is an infection of the upper airway. A person with influenza is at risk of other infections, including viral or bacterial pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs."
Dr. Parker says people can spread the virus even before they show any symptoms.
"If you are feeling sick stay home to avoid exposing others to the virus."
Flu shots are available at free clinics for the following people:
- People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
- All children age 6 to 59 months of age
- Household contacts and caregivers of infants age 0 to 59 months of age
- Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
- Aboriginal people
- Children & adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Aspirin® or ASA and their household contacts
- Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
- Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts (pregnant women who are in other high risk groups can be immunized at any time during the pregnancy)
- People who are very obese (BMI > 40)
- Health-care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications
- People who provide essential community services (First Responders, Corrections Workers)
- Inmates of provincial correctional institutions
- People who work with live poultry and/or swine
- Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships)
Dr. Parker says people not eligible for the free clinics can still get a flu shot. Check with you doctor or pharmacist to find out about getting vaccinated.
To find the location of a flu clinic near you, visit www.interiorhealth.ca.
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