Flu season is starting with more immunization options

Each fall brings the same traditions and routines: the kids go back to school, the leaves change colour, the NHL is supposed to start, and the flu immunization clinics begin.

As we start digging through the closet for hats, gloves and scarves, it’s important to remember the necessary steps that will help protect ourselves and our loved ones from the flu.

People of all ages can get influenza (the flu) and it’s important to keep in mind that by protecting yourself from the virus, you are also protecting other people in your life that may be at risk of a severe case of the flu.

The best way to protect against getting and spreading the flu is to get the annual influenza immunization (flu shot). This year there are even more options to make it easier.

As usual, the Halton Region Health Department offers clinics throughout the Region. Physicians’ offices and some workplaces and walk-in clinics offer the vaccine too and a new option for residents is to get the immunization at some pharmacies. Be sure to call the walk-in clinic or pharmacy before you go.

Personal protective measures are also an effective way to prevent catching or spreading the flu. These include:

  • Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for a minimum of 15 seconds
  • Using an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Staying home when you’re sick. Resting is a key element to recovery
  • Coughing and sneezing into your sleeve
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs, telephones, computers or remote controls

For more information on the flu, please dial 311 or call Halton Region at 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833 or visit www.halton.ca/flu.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”