As the weather begins to change, protecting yourself and your loved ones during the flu season is an important step in ensuring a healthy and active lifestyle throughout the Autumn and Winter months.
According to Health Canada, the flu can be a serious disease. The flu is very contagious and can spread quickly and easily. Before you even know you are sick, you can pass the flu on to others.
Who is at risk?
The flu can affect everyone, including those who are healthy, but people at higher risk of serious complications are:
adults aged 65 and over,
pregnant women, and
those living with a chronic health condition.
In Canada, an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu occur each year.
Know the F.A.C.T.S.
Unlike the common cold, the flu targets your nose, throat, and lungs and carries with it specific symptoms. These symptoms can occur very quickly and intensely and last for up to 5 days (or longer for those at higher risk).
Some symptoms of the flu are as follows:
A fever of over 101°F
Body aches in your back, head, and limbs
Sore throat, chills, weakness and fatigue.
A painful, dry cough
Flushed warm skin and red watery eyes
A runny or stuffy nose
Generally, the flu can be managed with prescription medicine, plenty of fluids, and rest. However, there are times when flu symptoms can lead to a medical emergency.
Seek medical attention if you experience:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Purple or blue colour of the lips
Pain or pressure in the chest
Sudden dizziness or confusion
Severe or persistent vomiting
There are a number of ways to help prevent the onset of the flu:
Get a flu vaccine every year
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Clean your hands/Promote cleanliness in others
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when possible
As with any preventative measures to maintain a healthy active lifestyle, practice other healthy habits, such as clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
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