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Palliser Primary Care Network

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Flu Season

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). 
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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):

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although more common in children than adults

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):

  • Get your flu shot
  • Ensure good hand hygiene practices (hand washing with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with use of an alcohol-based rub)
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
  • Staying home if you are feeling unwell and monitoring your symptoms


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



1. "Centres for Disease Control and Prevention", What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19? August 4, 2020,

2. "Infection Prevention and Control Canada", Seasonal Influenza, Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza, 2020,
3. "Centres for Disease Control and Prevention", Take time to get ta flu vaccine, October 9, 2020,

 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:

  • thinking or talking about suicide
  • withdrawal from family, friends, or activities
  • feeling like you have no purpose in life or reason for living
  • increasing substance use, like drugs, alcohol, and inhalants
  • feeling trapped or that there's no other way out of a situation
  • feeling hopeless about the future or feeling like life will never get better
  • talking about being a burden to someone or about being in unbearable pain
  • anxiety or significant mood changes, such as anger, sadness, or helplessness

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: