"The flu can infect nearly 20 per cent of Canadians each year. You can help reduce your risk of getting sick by taking simple precautions such as getting your flu vaccine early, washing your hands often, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve, and staying home when you are sick,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. "But the best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine."
Influenza, also known as the flu, can spread to others before symptoms even appear. Typical symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, feeling tired and runny nose. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur, especially in children.
Every year, millions of Canadians are infected by the flu and more than 12,200 are hospitalized. While most people will recover within a week to 10 days, the flu can make pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease worse, and can develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia, and rarely death.
The following groups of people are known to be at higher risk for developing complications from influenza and should be sure to get the flu vaccine each year: people with chronic health conditions, residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities, people 65 years of age and older, children six months to five years old, healthy pregnant women and Aboriginal Peoples.
In addition to getting the annual influenza vaccine, Toronto Public Health recommends:
• cleaning hands frequently
• sneezing and coughing into sleeve, if no tissue is available
• avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands, and
• staying home when sick.
The flu vaccine is free for people six months and older who live, work or attend school in Ontario. For the full flu vaccination clinic schedule, please call 416-338-7600 or visithttp://bit.ly/1FwZ8rs. Individuals can also book an appointment online at tphbookings.ca and find information by following our Twitter account @TOPublicHealth and #FluFighter.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://ow.ly/TXzFA
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.