Influenza, also called the flu, is an infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus. Every year there is a period of time where there are more outbreaks of the flu, this is called flu season. Flu season generally occurs during the fall, winter and early spring.
Getting sick with the flu can put you at risk of getting other infections. These include viral or bacterial pneumonia which affect the lungs. The risk of complications, which can be life-threatening, is greater for seniors 65 years and older, very young children, and people who have lung or heart diseases, certain chronic health conditions, or weakened immune systems. In Canada, thousands of people are hospitalized and may die from the flu and its complications during years with widespread or epidemic influenza activity.
How can the flu be prevented?[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]The influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to help you and your family stay healthy and prevent illness. It can even save lives.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, you can help stop the spread of the flu by:
- Washing your hands regularly
- Promptly disposing of used tissues in the waste basket or garbage
- Coughing and sneezing into your shirt sleeve rather than your hands
- Staying home when you are ill
- Keeping your hands away from your face
- Keeping common surface areas, such as doorknobs, light switches, and keyboards, clean and disinfected
- Eating healthy foods and staying physically active to keep your immune system strong
If you have additional tips, feel free to leave your comments here!