You and the Flu
Have you ever wondered how the flu vaccine is created, and how it helps you and your family stay flu free? Watch the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care video to find out.
Protect yourself from the flu this season
For more information contact Toronto Public Health:
- Call 3-1-1, 24 hours a day
- Visit www.toronto.ca/health
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. It is also important to understand what Influenza and Avian Influenza is and how it spreads.
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?
|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.
More flu information you may also be interested in:
- When coming to the Health Centre
- What we are doing to help protect our patients
- What to do if you are not feeling well
- Other Influenza Resources
Page last updated: October 02, 2012