Influenza, also called the flu, is an infection of the upper airway caused by a flu virus. Symptoms can include fever, body aches, headache, runny nose, sore throat and a dry cough. Flu outbreaks usually happen in late fall and winter. – from Influenza (Seasonal Flu) on HealthLinkBC
Each year many people get sick with the flu, which can lead to more serious health problems such as pneumonia. The flu season can be especially risky for our Elders, young ones and those with health challenges.
The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccine.
Flu vaccines are safe and effective for First Nations people. When you get vaccinated against the flu, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect others in your community.
Here are some other ways to avoid getting the flu and keep yourself healthy:
Flu vaccines are free for all BC residents, including Indigenous people living either in community (i.e. on reserve) or away from home.
You can get a flu vaccine at your health centre or nursing station, or in your doctor's office or your local pharmacy.
For best protection, get your flu vaccine as early in the flu season as possible. The vaccine is usually available in October to early November.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to make getting a flu vaccine important.
Getting immunized reduces the spread of flu and helps protect you and your community. Flu cases are a burden on the health care system since they can be serious enough to require hospitalization.
Remember, the COVID-19 virus and flu virus are different. It is important to get the flu vaccine even after you have had the
COVID-19 vaccine. If you become sick with the flu, you may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Although both of these viruses can make you feel very sick, the flu vaccination does not protect you from COVID-19.
If you start to feel unwell, it can be hard to determine if you are sick because of the flu virus or COVID-19.
The flu and COVID-19 have some of the same symptoms. These symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, headache and fatigue.
If you think you've been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can: