Does exposure to cold temperatures, stress or cigarette smoke make us more likely to catch a cold or the flu? Although research on these questions is inconclusive, you can still prevent these infections by keeping the viruses at bay. Find out how.
Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay virus-free.
Every year, between 5% and 10% of adults and up to 30% of children contract the flu. While most healthy adults recover from a bout of flu in 7 to 14 days, this infection can be serious and even life-threatening for vulnerable people, such as people over 65. The World Health Organization estimates that the flu is responsible for between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths per year worldwide.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against the flu. Every year, the influenza vaccine (or flu shot) prevents illness and saves lives. Even if you aren’t at risk of complications, you have a good chance of coming into contact with people who are, such as seniors, pregnant women, or young children. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated every year.
Influenza vaccination usually starts in early November. You can get the flu shot at any point throughout the flu season, but it’s best to get vaccinated early so you are protected before the virus starts to spread. Full vaccine immunity develops about 2 weeks after vaccination and lasts for at least 6 months. Because flu protection wears off over time, and because the virus is constantly changing, it’s important to get vaccinated each year.
To find out how and where to get vaccinated, click the Flu Vaccination Program link on the Government of Quebec’s Portail santé mieux-être.
Also, many PROXIM and PROXIMed pharmacies provide safe and effective flu shots administered by a nurse upon appointment. Ask your local pharmacy if they offer this service.