FLU SEASON - Mason Hettesheimer received his flu shot while his mom

Flu clinics are currently underway in Red Deer

  • Oct. 21, 2015 2:50 p.m.

Red Deerians now have the opportunity to protect themselves and others against influenza with the launch of Alberta’s annual influenza immunization program.

The program makes vaccine available free of charge to all Albertans six months of age and older at hundreds of Alberta Health Services (AHS) public influenza immunization clinics, as well as at pharmacist and physician offices around the province.

“Influenza arrives every fall and chances are you will be exposed,” said Dr. Digby Horne, medical officer of health for AHS Central Zone. “You may be healthy now but keep in mind – good health isn’t contagious. Influenza is. To protect your health, get immunized.”

Immunization is the most effective means of protecting against the strains of influenza virus expected to circulate this season. Because those strains change from season to season, Albertans are reminded they cannot rely on having been immunized in years past.

“It’s pretty simple – to be protected this season, you need to be immunized this season,” said Horne. “Without immunization, you’re at risk.”

That risk shouldn’t be underestimated. Last season, more than 1,870 Albertans were hospitalized due to influenza and, for 103 Albertans, it was fatal. Thousands more suffered from the illness and put those around them at risk of contracting influenza as well.

“Chances are your friends and family don’t want influenza any more than you do,” said Horne. “Don’t take that chance. Get immunized.”

According to AHS, influenza (flu) is a viral infection.

The flu causes a fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. The symptoms usually are the worst for the first three or four days. But it can take one to two weeks to get completely better.

It usually takes one to four days to get symptoms of the flu after you have been around someone who has the virus.

Most people get better without problems. But sometimes the flu can lead to a bacterial infection such as an ear infection, a sinus infection or bronchitis. In rare cases, the flu may cause a more serious problem such as pneumonia.

The vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of problems from the flu, including adults age 65 and older; adults and children who have long-term health problems or an impaired immune system; children six to 59 months of age; women who will be pregnant during the flu season; children who are 24 months to 18 years old who use long-term Aspirin treatment; people who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more; people who live in nursing homes or long-term care centres and First Nations peoples.

The flu vaccine is also important for health care workers, anyone who lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of problems from the flu and people who provide essential community services.

For more information, including local clinic schedules, visit www.ahs.ca/influenza or call Health Link at 811.

– Fawcett

Just Posted

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read