Tips to protect yourself and your family during flu season

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Late fall and winter is usually flu season in Canada. Protect yourself and everyone around you by following these tips:


Quick tips on staying healthy during flu season, CBC News

  1. Get vaccinated

    Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) encourages all Manitobans to get their free flu vaccine early fall and every fall. But anytime during winter is fine if you haven’t had it yet. You can consult your health care provider or get it from the local public health office, nursing station, pharmacy (your local pharmacist can provide immunization services to people seven years old and older), ACCESS Centre, or the nearest immunization clinic. For more information about the flu vaccine, go to the MHSAL page on Seasonal Flu.

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly

    Hand washing is the simplest yet the most effective way to stay healthy. Our hands come in contact with various surfaces where viruses and germs can thrive. Then we touch our face, nose or mouth allowing them to get into our system. That’s why it’s best to wash frequently and avoid touching your face. Washing thoroughly means using soap and water and rubbing your fingers, palms, under your nails, the back of your hands and above your wrists for at least 20 seconds. This is about as long as the song ‘Happy Birthday’ sung twice. Rinse thoroughly and dry your hands well. Do this as often as appropriate throughout the day. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable wet wipes or gel sanitizers (but using soap and water is still the best option).

  3. Strengthen your immunity

    Boost your immunity against any kind of sickness by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. Make this your habit all year long, not only during the flu season. Aside from vitamin C, there are other nutrients that can do the job like vitamin D, zinc and selenium. Watch the video below to know other foods you can eat to boost your immunity:


    5 foods to keep your immune system strong, CBC

  4. Cough and sneeze into your elbow

    This minimizes the amount of infected particles in the air. You could also cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to dispose of used tissues immediately.

  5. Use masks

    Surgical or face masks can minimize your exposure to germs especially when you need to be in a crowded place like the mall or in a bus. If you have a cold, cough or flu, this can also prevent you from spreading infection around, especially in your home, school or workplace.

  6. Stay at home

    Consult your doctor right away especially if your flu is sustained and you feel like it is more severe than what you’ve experienced before. Follow your doctor’s orders and stay home, rest and take prescribed medications. Avoid all unnecessary travel, even if it’s just to shop for groceries or run a few errands. You wouldn’t want to spread your virus and get other people sick too.

    If you must travel overseas (whether you’re sick or not), always check Travel health notices first before buying your ticket. Stay informed about health and other risks before committing to travel.

Specific health concerns should be directed to your family physician or by calling the WRHA Health Links line at 204.788.8200

 
Sources: Colliers- protecting yourself and others against respiratory illness (pdf); Seasonal flu, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living; and The benefits of hand washing, Canada.ca.

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