Tips to protect yourself and your family during flu season

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Late fall and winter is usually flu season in Canada. Follow these tips to protect yourself and everyone around you:

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 you can get it anytime during winter. Go to your doctor’s office 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. Go to the MHSAL page on Seasonal Flu for more information about the flu vaccine.

  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 in our bodies. That’s why it’s best to wash frequently and avoid touching your face. Use soap and water and rub your fingers, palms, under your nails, the back of your hands and above your wrists for at least 20 seconds. This is as long as singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. Rinse and dry your hands well. Do this as often as possible. Use alcohol-based disposable wet wipes or gel sanitizers when you don’t have soap and water.

  3. Strengthen your immunity

    Eat right, exercise and get enough sleep to prevent any kind of sickness. Do this all year long, not only during the flu season. Eat foods with vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium. Watch the video below to know foods that boost your immunity:

    5 foods to keep your immune system strong, CBC

  4. Cough and sneeze into your elbow

    Cough and sneeze into your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. This minimizes the amount of infected particles in the air. Throw away used tissues immediately.

  5. Use masks

    Protect yourself by using surgical or face masks especially in crowded places. It can also prevent you from spreading infection around if you have a cold, cough or flu.

  6. Stay at home

    Consult your doctor right away when you have the flu. Stay home, rest and take your medicine. Don’t go out to shop for groceries or run errands. Don’t 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,

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