An Effective Way to Protect Yourself Against the Flu!
Since 2010, the number of flu-related hospitalizations has quadrupled in Canada. During the 2014-2015 Winter season, nearly 8000 individuals were hospitalized after developing complications of the flu. Of these 8000 individuals, 600 have died. The number of deaths registered during the 2014-2015 flu season is 6 times greater than the number of deaths registered 4 years prior1.
How can we account for the rising number of flu cases despite the availability of the flu vaccine?
The flu is spread by droplet transmission. When an individual coughs, sneezes, or talks, he/she emits flu-infected droplets into the air. These droplets can then be inhaled through the mouth or the nose of other individuals. These droplets may also settle on nearby surfaces (examples: hands, door knobs, phones). Physical contact with these contaminated surfaces can, in turn, transmit the virus1.
Does simply avoiding symptomatic individuals protect you against the flu?
No. The incubation period of the flu is 1 to 3 days. An individual infected with the flu can therefore transmit the virus 1 to 3 days before he/she displays any symptom. Furthermore, the flu virus can survive for up to 8 hours on some surfaces (example: stainless steel)2. Additional precautions are therefore required to avoid contracting the flu.
Annual vaccination against the flu:
The flu vaccine can help you steer clear of the flu and of its potential consequences. The flu vaccine also allows you to protect your loved ones and the vulnerable populations you may encounter. Some individuals are at greater risk of developing complications of the flu than others (examples: infants and toddlers, elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with a weakened immune system). Although the flu vaccine is considered safe for some of these individuals, others are counting on you to keep the flu at bay. For instance, infants under the age of 6 months cannot receive the flu vaccine. If these infants contract the flu, they risk serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
Do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information.
- Agence de la santé publique du Canada, août 2010
- Agence de la santé publique du Canada, juin 2015