The flu shot and you

By: Dr. Lisa Vincent, MD, Oct 25, 2012
The flu shot and you

What do I need to know about the flu shot?

Get the facts before you get the shot

Winter is the time of year when people get influenza. There are many different viruses that cause “flu”. Symptoms usually start suddenly with fever, cough and one or more of sore throat, joint or muscle pain, or extreme exhaustion. Symptom treatment includes rest, fluids, fever reducers and pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

It is important to help prevent the spread of flu by washing hands frequently, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, staying two metres away from other people or wearing a surgical mask if coughing or sneezing. It is advised to stay home from work or school until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. Most people will have a mild illness that lasts a few days. If symptoms worsen, they should see a doctor. People with certain medical problems are at risk for severe illness. Seasonal flu shots are available in the fall and need to be given yearly. Ask your doctor about vaccination.

Dr. Lisa G. Vincent, MD, CCFP, FCFP, has been the primary healthcare provider to hundreds of families over her 25+ years of medical practice. She is a member of the Canadian Medical Association, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and is a Fellow, College of Family Physicians.