October 30, 2019

Wellness Wednesday: Flu Season is Upon Us

Dr Bryan Brulotte CD
HCol Bryan Brulotte KJ CD PhD
CEO & Chairman, MaxSys

Which would you choose — having fun or having the flu? If you chose fun not flu, we’ve got some tips to help you have a happy, healthy flu season.

Did you know that influenza (aka the flu) is responsible for more than 12,000 hospitalizations in Canada annually? Or that there are multiple varieties of flu viruses? Here is what you need to know to prepare for the 2019-2020 flu season.

What is the flu?

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus that comes on suddenly. Symptoms, such as body aches, fever, and a cough, typically develop one to seven days after exposure, and can last from a few days to two weeks. Having the flu may include any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (usually 100.4°F or higher, lasting for several days), often with chills
  • Body aches or muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Eye pain, such as burning, pain on eye movement or sensitivity to light

The good news is that gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea or nausea and vomiting, are fairly uncommon. And because the flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics that are effective against bacteria aren’t useful when you have the flu.

How do you get the flu?

The flu is spread person-to-person primarily from airborne particles generated by coughing and sneezing, as well as by physical contact with contaminated surfaces like door handles, countertops or anything else an infected person touched recently. So practice your cough and sneeze technique and good hand hygiene to keep yourself and those around you healthy during flu season.

Should I get a flu shot?

Yes! At MaxSys Staffing & Consulting, we hold a flu shot clinic annually to encourage all of our staff, who are eligible, to get vaccinated against the flu. It’s the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu. In fact, the flu shot not only reduces your risk of getting the flu and lessens symptoms if you do get sick, it also helps prevent the flu from spreading. If you are in close contact with young children, anyone elderly or with a serious illness, getting vaccinated can reduce their chances of coming down with the flu and developing complications like pneumonia.

For more information on the flu, and if the flu vaccine is right for you, talk to your doctor.