For Quebec Residents – Please click here FR

ASK A PHARMACIST

Your pharmacist is here to answer your flu questions.

The Internet is a wonderful place. There are cat videos, new ways to cook kale, and even websites that explain what kale is in the first place!However, when it comes to personal medical advice the Internet can be vague and sometimes misleading.

Ask your pharmacist about your flu information needs.

 

FIND OUT IF YOU ARE AT RISK

Certain people are more likely to get the flu than others. Children and adults over 65 have difficulty defeating the flu and the illness can become very serious if not handled in the right way.1 In Canada between 10-20%2 of people catch the flu each year. Up to 12,000 people a year are hospitalized with 3,500 cases resulting in death.3

Healthcare professionals play a critical role in identifying and reporting influenza. By talking with your pharmacist you will be able to determine if you have a cold or a flu, then learn about recommended treatment plans and discuss any underlying issues or conditions that might need more attention.

Should you arrive at your pharmacy already experiencing cold or flu symptoms, a pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best course of action, including whether or not you may receive a flu shot.

 

THE SHOT

Flu shots are made with either inactivated virus or no flu virus at all, so are not infectious. The flu shot boosts your immune response, and after about 2 weeks you will develop antibodies that protect you if exposed to live flu virus.2 Each year new vaccines are created in North America based on recommendations from the World Health Organization.3 The shots are manufactured before the flu season in order to be ready based on the expected circulating cases of flu.4 There are two main categories of flu shot. One protects against three different strains of the flu virus; the other against four flu strains. These are called trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines.5

 

HOW TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO THE FLU

There are a few simple things you can do to reduce spreading the flu. Washing hands and disinfecting surfaces can do a lot to reduce passing on flu germs.4 Ask your pharmacist about proper hand washing technique and appropriate disinfectant products to use, particularly if you have young children at home.

With flu season right around the corner, it is important to be prepared. Not just for you, but for those around you who may be at a higher risk of experiencing flu-related complications.

 

1,2http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/flu-grippe/professionals-professionnels-eng.php
3,4
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2014/flu-grippe-1022-eng.php

The information in this article is presented strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please see your health care provider if you have any questions about your condition, medication, or treatment.

WHAT IS THE FLU?

Seasonal influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection of the airways, affecting the nose, throat and lungs.

Learn More About the Flu