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It’s Flu Season – Protect Yourself and Others by Knowing the Facts

Yes, it’s that time again – cold and flu season. People start to gather inside and transfer germs by shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, opening the fridge, turning on the kitchen taps and just being in close contact with others. From coast to coast, people are getting ready to fight colds and flu head on with a number of weapons in their “medicine chest”. Prevention is the real name of the game, particularly when it comes to the more debilitating flu. Knowing that prevention is the best medicine, let’s have a look at what the flu is, and how you can do your part to help prevent the spread.

What is the seasonal flu?
  • Seasonal influenza, or the seasonal flu, is a common and highly contagious respiratory infection that affects the nose, throat and lungs
  • The flu strains change from year-to-year, that’s why it is important to get an annual flu shot
  • Full protection against the flu takes about two weeks from the time you get the shot and lasts about six months
  • In Canada, the flu season typically occurs between November and April
  • Most people recover from the flu in about a week, but some people – including infants, children, adults and the elderly with chronic health conditions (such as diabetes and cancer) – are at greater risk of serious complications such as pneumonia
  • Yearly exposure to existing strains of the flu provides some levels of immunity to seasonal flu


What is the difference between seasonal flu and a cold?

Everyone is at risk of catching the flu virus – even healthy, young adults. While symptoms may vary from person to person, they may include the following:


   Seasonal flu Common cold 
What is it?
Influenza, or the flu, is a common and highly contagious, infectious respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat and lungs.
Influenza viruses can change rapidly.  That’s why there is a new flu shot made every year to protect against the circulating virus strains.
A cold is a mild infection of the nose and throat caused by a variety of viruses.
Although a cold might linger, the symptoms remain mild.
 Almost Always          Common Sometimes 
Runny nose
Sore throat

Sudden onset of cough and fever
Muscle aches
Sore throat
Decreased appetite Runny nose


What can you do to prevent the flu?

You can play an active role in staying healthy and preventing the spread of the seasonal flu if you:

1. Get your flu shot: You can protect yourself and others by getting an annual flu shot.

2. Wash your hands frequently: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.

Wash your hands:

  • before and after eating
  • after you have been in a public place
  • after using the washroom
  • after coughing and sneezing
  • after touching common surfaces

3. Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand: If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.

4. Keep your hands away from your face: In most cases, the flu virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

5. Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected: Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses which can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help prevent the spread of viruses.

To read the complete “Your Seasonal Flu Guide” which is produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada simply go to:

A message from COLD-FX

At COLD-FX, we know that the flu can really wipe you out, so taking steps to prevent the spread of germs and viruses is critical to good health. This starts with getting your flu shot. Adding COLD-FX to your daily routine has also been clinically proven to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. For more information click here.



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