The Flu & You

Flu Prevention



Seasonal influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infection in the airways caused by the influenza virus. Highly contagious, this respiratory infection affects the nose, throat, and lungs.
The flu spreads quickly and is caught easily. When people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk, tiny water droplets containing the virus are emitted, which can stay active for up to 48 hours.


Common symptoms of the flu are runny, stuffy nose, a sore throat, chest discomfort and coughing. A high fever is also common, and may last 3-4 days.
Headaches, as well as general aches and pain may be severe. Fatigue and weakness are common and can last 2-3 weeks or longer.

Why The Flu Can Be Serious

Last year in Canada there were over 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths due to the flu.
Age plays a factor. Of those hospitalized, 50-70% were people over the age of 65. Some of these cases resulted in long-term disability.
The flu can lead to other complications. Asthma and bronchitis can result from the flu’s effect on the lungs. Heart problems and ear infections have also been know to occur.
Getting over the flu is not quick. Healthy adults who get the flu may need a couple sick days off to recover from extreme exhaustion. As well, productivity can fall for 2-3 weeks due to fatigue.


01 The Flu Can Be Serious

“The flu? I’ll be just fine after a few days of rest.” That might be true for the common cold, but the flu is much more serious. If you get the influenza virus, you’re likely to experience high fevers, extreme fatigue, muscle aches and severe headaches, in addition to the usual cough and stuffy nose.1 Sounds fun, right? The flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family against getting the flu in the first place.

02 The Flu Virus Changes Eery Year, And So Does The Flu Vaccine

The flu virus circulates all around the world, and evolves very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that new strains of the flu are constantly emerging. Every year, scientists and health experts create a new flu vaccine designed to fight the most prevalent flu strains. This means old vaccines won’t properly protect you against this year’s influenza virus.2 You need to get the best protection for this current flu season.

03 Your Flu Shot Helps Everyone, Not Just You

Not everyone is well equipped to overcome the flu. Some groups, such as infants, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems, are much more vulnerable to getting the flu.3 By not getting the flu shot, you’re increasing their chances of getting sick as well. The more people that are protected against the flu, the less the virus can spread. Of course, members of at-risk groups are encouraged to get flu shots, but some, such as babies under the age of 6 months, can’t be vaccinated.4 To minimize their risk of getting sick, you can do your part by getting the flu shot.5 You won’t just be protecting yourself, but you’ll also help protect others around you.

04 It's Easy!

Getting a flu shot is quick and easy; just visit your local pharmacist who can administer it on location! Visit McLaren Pharmacy to get protected against the flu.

5 Flu Myths

01 Flu Only Affects The Very Young, Very Old & Unhealthy People.  False

Being healthy doesn’t make you immune to the flu. In fact, every year 5-20% of adults get the flu—a much larger percentage than adults in high-risk groups.1 A healthy adult, however, has a lower risk of suffering from severe flu complications than young children, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems.2

02 You Can Get The Flu From A Flu Vaccination.  False

The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. Flu shots are made with either inactivated virus or no flu virus at all, so they are not infectious. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with attenuated (weakened) live flu virus. Both flu shot and nasal spray vaccines boost your immune response against exposure to flu viruses, but do not cause flu illness itself.

It’s possible, however, to get sick shortly after getting vaccinated—that’s because it takes two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies in the vaccine to form in your body and protect you against the influenza virus.3 That’s why we recommend getting your flu shot as early as possible!

03 A Flu Is Just A Bad Cold.  False

The flu and the common cold share certain similarities, but they are very different. The flu is a much more serious illness that can lead to severe complications such as meningitis, pneumonia and, in certain cases, death.

04 You Get The Flu From Being In Cold Weather.  False

This is another classic flu myth that’s simply not true. Going outside in the cold without the proper winter attire might give you shivers and frostbite, but it won’t give you the flu. Only the dreaded influenza virus will give you the flu. This is a common misconception because flu season coincides with the winter months. That said, please ensure you bundle up and stay warm during the winter months.

05 The Flu Includes Gastrointestinal Symptoms.  False

The flu is terrible, but there is a silver lining—it doesn’t usually cause digestive troubles. Vomiting and diarrhea are typically symptoms of an ailment commonly referred to as the “stomach flu.” Stomach flu is in no way related to the flu virus.4
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