It has been a bad year for the flu, and the Northwest is feeling the effects

Hillary Johnson

It has been a bad year for the flu, and the Northwest is feeling the effects. Northern Health Medical Health Officer, Rakel Kling encourages the entire population to get vaccinated and that there are demographics that could develop complications such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, to name a few. But how does the vaccine get developed each year?

"The World Health Organization is in charge of recommending the virus strains to go into the flu shot. They use data from the previous flu seasons as well as data from all parts of the world, so the northern and southern hemispheres, which have slightly different flu seasons, they use all the information."

Kling recommends community members to ask their health professionals questions about getting vaccinated.

"I think there is a lot of myths going on about the flu shot, about its effectiveness and whether or not it might cause the flu. We know that the flu shot is very effective and it certainly doesn't cause the flu in people that get it. I encourage people who are unsure about getting the flu shot to check in with their health care professionals or their local pharmacists or online at Immunize BC. There's a lot of really good information."

She describes symptoms of the flu that include fever, headaches, fatigue, chills, along with just feeling overall not well. She mentions that there are many precautions you can take to stay healthy.

"The best precautions you can take, that's for coronavirus as well as for influenza, the best thing to do is make sure to wash your hands very frequently, staying home when you're sick, avoiding other people when you are sick, proper cough etiquette. All of those are the best thing to do to keep yourself healthy from all viruses."

The flu can spread quickly to others, and when you get the flu shot, you're not just protecting yourself but others around you.

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