Published On: January 9, 2020
Anyone can catch the flu. Protect yourself and others.
The flu (influenza) is a contagious virus that anyone can get. The good news? There are several things you can do to avoid catching it, or spreading it to others:
Get the flu vaccine.
- The flu shot is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. It’s SAFE, FREE, and AVAILABLE from your doctor, nurse practitioner, and at many pharmacies and local public health units across Ontario. (Children between 2-17 years of age can get the flu vaccine as a shot or nasal spray. Talk to your doctor about your options.)
Wash your hands.
- Use soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Use a tissue or cough into your upper sleeve.
Don’t touch your face.
- The flu virus spreads when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk and droplets enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
- Viruses spread more easily in group settings, such as businesses, schools and nursing homes.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and shared items.
- Viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces like countertops, door handles, computer keyboards and phones.
Is it the flu or common cold?
Symptoms can be similar, but unlike the common cold, the flu can lead to serious health problems like pneumonia. Click here for more information about how to distinguish the flu from the common cold.
Where can you get the flu shot?
- Your doctor or nurse practitioner
- Local pharmacies
- Southwestern Public Health – call to book an appointment (St. Thomas – 519-631-9900)