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Flu season is approaching us fast, and this year it looks a little bit different with the addition of the COVID-19 virus circulating. As of June 2020, there have been 42,537 confirmed cases of influenza in Canada (2).
Did you know that influenza typically lasts a week to ten days? As an adult you remain infectious for three to five days after symptom onset and children can remain infectious for up to a week after onset. In some populations, such as children, adults over the age of 65, individuals with chronic health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lung conditions) and women who are pregnant, influenza can become severe enough to require hospitalization – in some cases, resulting in death (2).
Common symptoms of influenza include (1):
Influenza viruses are spread from person to person via droplets (from coughing, sneezing, or talking) when people are in close contact with one another or from human contact where the droplets have landed and then are spread (e.g. via shaking hands or touching the contaminated surface then touching your mouth/nose/eyes) (2).
The best way to prevent the spread of the influenza virus is (2, 3):
Getting the flu shot this year will be more important than ever to reduce the burden of the flu on our health care system with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (3).
You can find more information at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza/influenza.aspx
1. "Centres for Disease Control and Prevention", What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19? August 4, 2020,www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
2. "Infection Prevention and Control Canada", Seasonal Influenza, Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza, 2020, www.ipac-canada.org/influenza-resources.php3. "Centres for Disease Control and Prevention", Take time to get ta flu vaccine, October 9, 2020, www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm
This article was submitted by Ashton Buye, Registered Nurse at the Palliser PCN.
September 10, 2020,is Suicide Prevention day:
Most of us have been affected by suicide in some way and, if not, we sure can empathize with those who have. It is important to be aware of the warning signs for yourself or someone you know:
When we or someone we know is showing any of these signs, it takes courage to ask for help or ask others if they need help. Please know your community is here to support you. You can access support anonymously or find local support in Medicine Hat, and Brooks. You can find these local supports by searching our Local Resources section of our website, and the additional links below: