Unless you’re a medical professional or a health nerd, you probably haven’t visited the “Flu Watch-Report” that the Public Health Agency of Canada prepares weekly. As providers of professional monitors, thermometers and other health-aids, we keep an eye on news like this. This report tracks the influenza virus in Canada by province, based on confirmed cases. It provides more information than most of us need to know including the type of virus, age of infected patients, and how this year's Flu is tracking compared to last year.
What is clear from the “Week 44” report ending November 2nd is that the 2019/2020 Flu season has started. The influenza virus has arrived in all provinces (except Nova Scotia and P.E.I.), but only “sporadically” at present. Last year's Flu peaked in the first week of January.
5 FLU Facts you should know:
- The Flu shares some symptoms with a cold, but Flu suffers will have a fever. The important difference is that influenza can be serious, and people at risk can die.
- People with higher risk include young children, pregnant women, those living in nursing homes, people with other chronic health conditions, and people over 65 years of age(apparently our immune systems age too).
- The Flu is very contagious, a cough or sneeze can spread the virus up to 12 feet and live for 24 hours on a surface. Patients are contagious from 24 hours before symptoms to 5-7 days following.
- You cannot get the Flu from the Flu shot.
- Getting the flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the Flu, but it will likely keep you out of the hospital. Herd immunity is the concept and it does protect your circle of friends and family.
Best Practices to Prevent Getting / Spreading the Flu:
- The Flu virus typically enters the body through our mouth, nose, or eyes. Therefore, frequent hand washing is #1.
- Keep your distance from someone who is infected. Don’t touch your face, and wash your hands, again! Using hand sanitizer works too.
- During the flu season, consider a fist pump in place of handshaking, particularly if you are not feeling 100%.
- If you become ill, stay home, you will be saving your colleagues from getting it. If you do go to the office, cough and sneeze into arm. Keep those virus-laden droplets to yourself.
- Get the Flu shot.
Need more information about professional monitors or fever thermometers? Then browse the BIOS Medical learning center today.
- Vivien Brown, Can’t Run, Can’t hide: flu season is back, CanadianHealthcareNetwork.ca, Nov. 10, 2019