PSA: Protect yourself and your loves ones this flu season


For immediate release: January 10, 2013

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and area hospitals want to remind residents to protect themselves and their loved ones and to take appropriate steps to ease symptoms if you get sick this flu season.

It is not too late to get the flu vaccine. Residents can get their flu vaccine at OPH clinics, their doctor’s office, some local pharmacies and many walk-in clinics in the city. This season’s flu vaccine is proving to be effective and is well matched to the most common influenza strains in the community.

Ottawa Public Health also reminds Ottawa residents of these key tips to avoid getting and transmitting the flu virus:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hand.
  • Avoid crowds, public gathering and stay at home if you are sick.
  • Do not visit hospitalized patients if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Individuals who have flu-like symptoms – a fever, a cough, severe headache and/or chills are advised to:

  • Rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Take basic pain or fever relievers.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Gargle with a glass of warm water or suck on hard candy or lozenges.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

Contact your health care provider if symptoms are severe and do not improve after a few days.

You should call your health care provider immediately if you experience flu symptoms and you:

  • are pregnant.
  • have a chronic health problem that requires regular medical attention.
  • are elderly or frail.
  • have an illness or are receiving treatments – for example, for diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS – that might affect your immune system.
  • your child is under three months of age and has a fever over 38° C or 100.4° F,

There are many ways to get non-emergency medical care. Trained professionals from tele-health Ontario and the Ottawa Public Health Information line can answer your questions by phone, and family doctors, nurses and other health care providers can provide care.

The emergency room may not be your best option. Residents are asked to note that many area-hospitals are experiencing an increase in volume to their emergency departments and that the majority of this increase is due to flu. These admissions are leading to higher than normal hospital occupancy and longer wait times.

Ottawa Public Health has noticed an increased demand for the flu vaccine in recent days and is working with health care providers, institutions and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure that everyone who wants a flu vaccine can get one. 2

To find out where to get the flu vaccine, or for the latest public health information, visit ottawa.ca, contact Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or visit us on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).

To reach Telehealth Ontario, call 1-866-797-0000.

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For more information:

Media contact 613-580-2450

Public inquiries: ottawa.ca 3-1-1

 

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