General Flu Information
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It's important that you protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu this season. To find a flu shot clinic where you live click here.

For more information contact Toronto Public Health:
Call 3-1-1, 24 hours a day
Visit www.toronto.ca/health

What’s new this year in our commitment to protect our patients and coworkers from the flu?

This year, our staff, physicians, volunteers, students, and agency/contract workers are making a choice in how they commit to their role in patient safety and the safety of their coworkers. Those who do not wish to receive the flu vaccination, or who have medical exemptions, will wear a procedural mask in areas where patients are present and patient care is delivered.

Many of our clinical and non-clinical employees make the choice every year to get the flu shot and to also wear a procedural mask as part of their own personal patient safety commitment.

When visiting the Health Centre during flu season

Our visitors also have a choice to wear a procedure mask when visiting a loved one in the Health Centre. Masks are available at our main entrances and on the patient care units. During your visit, please remember to wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub. Click here for more information on hand hygiene.

If you are not feeling well, we ask that you please stay home and visit your loved one when you are feeling better.

General Flu Information: Flu 101

We are helping to protect our patients, their families and visitors from the flu this season. Getting the flu shot will increase your chance of not getting sick from the flu. It is also important to understand what Influenza is and how it spreads.

Click here to view St. Joseph's Health Centre's Influenza brochure

Please take a moment to read some quick FAQs and remember to always wash your hands!

Q: What is Influenza
A: Influenza, often called the flu, is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can spread around the world in epidemics and causes serious illness as well as death. In Canada the influenza season usually begins in October and can last to August.

Q: How is Influenza spread?
A: Influenza spreads easily from person to person through breathing, coughing and sneezing. The virus can also spread when a person touches tiny droplets from coughs and sneezes on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth, eyes or nose before washing their hands.

Q: About the Flu Shot:
A: The influenza vaccine (flu shot) is made from particles of killed flu viruses. It contains three different types of influenza viruses (two types of influenza A and one of influenza B). A person who receives the flu shot develops immunity for the types of flu in the vaccine. The body needs about two weeks to build up protection to the virus, and this protection may last four months or longer.

The flu vaccine is 70-90% effective in healthy individuals and usually protects well for at least 6 months. In the elderly, young people and people with weak immune systems, chronic heart and lung diseases it is approximately 40% effective and usually protects for only 4 months. Flu season begins in October and can last to August.

People with Influenza are contagious for 1 to 2 days before symptoms start - this is the most common cause of spread within health care institutions. Many persons can also have mild symptoms which are often mistaken for the common cold.

Q: Who Should not get the Flu Shot?
A:


Infants 6 months and younger
Individuals allergic to egg or egg products or any component of the vaccine - check with your doctor
Those with history of neurological illness such as Guillan-Barre syndrome

This information has been collected from a number of sources including
St. Joseph's Health Centre’s Infection Control Department and Toronto Public Health.

Additional information can be found at:
Toronto Public Health
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Public Health Agency of Canada

More flu information you may also be interested in:

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