4 things you might not know about the flu

(NC) With the COVID-19 pandemic grabbing headlines the last two years, the flu has managed to fade into the background. Unfortunately, it’s still here, and looking to make its return this winter. Arm yourself with the right information before it gets here. For instance, did you know:

  1. The flu can kill
    For many people, catching the flu is a hassle—an unpleasant few days in bed while you catch up on your favourite TV shows. But the flu is among the top 10 leading causes of death for Canadians, responsible for an average of more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year.
  2. You’re contagious before symptoms start
    Like with COVID-19, it’s possible to have the flu and be contagious but not have any symptoms. In symptomatic cases, you’re contagious for a full day before the first symptoms show themselves. That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps at the start of flu season, such as getting vaccinated.
  3. There’s more than one flu
    The influenza virus has different strains, just like COVID-19 does. The changes are random, and some help the virus spread. The World Health Organization monitors flu cases year-round, which helps to inform the development of vaccines.
  4. You’ve got options for flu prevention
    Did you know there’s different kinds of flu vaccines? In Canada, there are recommended vaccines based on individual factors, such as if you’re over 65 years old, pregnant, or if you have a chronic health condition. With many flu vaccines available in Canada, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about choosing the right flu vaccine for you.

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