October 8th, 2014

London Drugs’ Flu Season Survival Guide

Pharmacists say being Proactive and Prepared is the key to Flu Season Survival

Taking simple, yet highly effective, steps to preventing influenza (flu) can prevent a trip to a busy hospital emergency room during the upcoming flu season. Influenza can be very serious for those who have health vulnerabilities such as senior citizens, pregnant women, or people with chronic health conditions. Influenza causes about 20,000 people to get admitted to the hospital and about 4,000 deaths in Canada each year.[1]

London Drugs is joining health agencies across Western Canada to ensure Canadians are prepared to combat the seasonal flu, which can help free up emergency room space for emergency situations.

“Being proactive and prepared is the key to surviving the flu season,” said Gail Rowan, Pharmacy Operations Manager for London Drugs. “By getting the influenza vaccination early in the season, as well as taking some simple and healthy preventative actions, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others because you are less likely to spread the flu.”

Knowing the difference between a common cold and the flu is as important as being proactive and getting the flu shot early.

Flu Season Survival Tips

Be Proactive

  1. Get your flu shot early. Call or visit your local London Drugs pharmacy to book your influenza vaccination appointment today, or see when a flu clinic is taking place close to you. Ask if you qualify for a free flu vaccination or other recommended vaccine. If not, a fee may apply.
  2. Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. If water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and ensure you rub your hands until the product is dry.
  3. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve. Dispose of the tissue right away and wash your hands afterwards using the tips above.
  4. Avoid rubbing your nose and eyes. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.
  5. Don’t share. Avoid sharing food, utensils, water bottles and other things that could pass bacteria and viruses.
  6. Take a regular daily dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C intake can help decrease the duration and severity of a cold or flu if you get one.
  7. Rest well. If you or a family member is sick, stay home from school or work and avoid contact with others.

Be Prepared

  1. Know the signs of influenza. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. Transmitted by airborne droplets and can survive up to 48 hours outside the body; it can take a few days to a week for symptoms to appear. Some examples include:
  • A sudden, high fever (38 to 40 degrees C)
  • Headache, extreme fatigue, chills and sweating
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Runny and stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat

It can lead to complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, or worsening of a current chronic medical condition.

  1. Have a flu season survival kit on hand. There is nothing worse when you’re sick than having to leave your house to find relief. Make sure you have the following on hand for easy self-care:
  • Over the counter cold and flu medications (ask your local London Drugs pharmacist what is recommended for you or your family)
  • Soup, soda crackers, ginger ale or beverages with electrolytes for rehydration
  • Kleenex
  • Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Nasal spray
  • Herbal tea
  • Thermometer

FLU FAQs

A London Drugs pharmacist addresses the top three most frequently ask questions related to the flu:

  1. Do young, healthy Canadians need to get the flu shot? Video Answer
  2. Does the flu shot cause the flu? Video Answer
  3. Do we need a flu shot every year? Video Answer

 

[1] Source: http://goo.gl/JxeV3S

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