Public well being advises getting a flu shot earlier than season begins

An Ottawa Public Health flu shot clinic at an space highschool in January 2013. Darren Brown/Postmedia

Darren Brown / QMI

While flu season is across the nook, it’s nonetheless too early to inform whether or not this 12 months’s vaccine is an efficient match for the virus.

Dr. Genevieve Cadieux, affiliate medical officer of well being at Ottawa Public Health, says flu season usually peaks in January, so for now we’re within the “inter-seasonal” interval for flu.

Cadieux stated the incidence of flu circumstances to this point this season was “very low. We only have seven cases. Seven cases is not enough to tell whether the vaccine is going to be a good match or not.”

That stated, she stated there have been preventative measures individuals might take to higher shield themselves and others. These embody washing arms continuously with cleaning soap and water or hand sanitizer, sneezing into the elbow and staying house if sick with any form of cough or runny nostril.

Now, in accordance with Cadieux, is the very best time to get the flu shot, which is on the market in additional than 300 physician’s workplaces, greater than 200 pharmacies and numerous neighborhood clinics.

“We still want to remind people that the flu season is coming and you have to get your flu shot before the season starts, ideally, because it takes your body two weeks to develop immunity.”

Last 12 months, 617 circumstances of flu have been confirmed, with 47 outbreaks in long-term care properties, retirement properties and hospitals.

Vaccines have been about 42 per cent efficient in the course of the previous two flu seasons. While that not appear optimum, Cadieux stated, getting a flu shot is at all times higher than not getting it.

“Even if it turns out to be only effective in 50 per cent of cases, that means you have a one in two chance that you won’t get (the flu). Versus if you don’t get the vaccine and you encounter the flu virus, you have 100 per cent chance you are going to get it, or just about. So the vaccine is still your best protection against the flu.”

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