Flu

Algoma Public Health

Flu

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Anyone can catch the flu. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Get the flu shot. 


On this page:

 

  1. Where can I get my flu shot
  2. What is the flu
  3. Cold vs flu
  4. Kids and the flu
  5. Tips to prevent the flu

Where can I get my flu shot?

 

You can get the free flu shot from: 

  • Your primary healthcare provider

  • Participating pharmacies

    In the Algoma district, those 5 and older can get a flu shot at 28 pharmacies. You can use this map to help you find a location near you. 
  • At a public health community clinic listed below:

 

 


 

What is the flu?

 

Influenza (commonly known as "the flu") is a serious, acute respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. People who get influenza may have a fever, chills, cough, runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness, and fatigue. A cough and fatigue can persist for several weeks, making the return to full personal and work activities difficult.

 

People of any age can get the flu. Illness due to influenza usually lasts two to seven days; sometimes longer in the elderly and in people with chronic diseases. Most people who get influenza are ill for only a few days. However, some people can become very ill, possibly developing complications and requiring hospitalization.


 Flu vs common cold 


The common cold and influenza (flu) symptoms are often very similar. Use the chart below to help you determine if your symptoms are from a common cold or the flu.

 

 Symptom

 Cold

 Flu

 Fever  Rare  Usual; high fever (102* F/39 * C - 104 * F, 40 * C), sudden onset, lasts 3 to 4 days. Note: the elderly and people who are immunocompromised may not develop a fever.
 Headache   Rare  Usual; can be sudden
 Muscle aches and pain  Sometimes; generally mild  Usual; often severe
Tiredness and Weakness Sometimes; generally mild Usual; early onset, can be severe
 Extreme tiredness  Unusual  Usual; early onset, can be severe
 Runny, stuffy nose  Common  Common
 Sneezing  Common  Sometimes
 Sore Throat  Common  Common
 Chest discomfort, coughing  Sometimes, mild to moderate  Common; can be moderate to severe.  A cough may last for weeks
 Complications  Can lead to sinus congestion or infection,  and ear aches.  Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, and become life-threatening. Can  worsen a chronic condition

 



Kids and the Flu - Why your kids should get the flu shot.

 

Healthy young children aged 6 to 23 months are at increased risk of being admitted to the hospital because of flu symptoms compared with healthy older children and young adults. Once children enter daycare, school, or begin playing with groups of other children, their close contact enables the flu virus to spread quickly and easily among them. This helps make children one of the main spreaders of the virus both in the school and in the household.


Facts about children, the flu and vaccination:


Healthy children, particularly those 6 to 23 months of age, should receive the vaccine as they can develop influenza illness and serious complications. Only children 6 months of age and older can be vaccinated.

 

  • Children under 9 years old getting vaccinated for the first time need two doses of vaccine - the second dose at least one month after the first dose.
  • Children and teenagers who have been treated with aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) for long periods may have an increased risk of developing Reye's syndrome if they get the flu.
  • The vaccine is safe and well tolerated by healthy children. There is no evidence that it can cause neurological conditions such as autism, attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity disorder.

 Tips to prevent the flu 

 

Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should consider getting vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from influenza, to avoid losing time from work or school, and to avoid spreading the virus to others. People at risk of getting severely ill from influenza or its complications and people in close contact with them should consider themselves a priority for influenza immunization.

What more can you do to avoid getting sick?

 

  • Hand washing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to reduce your chances of getting sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve - not into your hands.
  • Avoid sharing food, eating utensils, towels or handkerchiefs.
  • Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer (gel or wipes) handy at work, home, and in the car.