Seasonal Influenza aka "the flu"
Seasonal influenza ("the flu") is a common illness that affects the nose, throat and lungs. It is easily spread from person to person through talking, coughing, and sneezing, or touching common surfaces that have been in contact with the flu virus. Healthy people can even spread the flu to others before feeling symptoms themselves.
Flu symptoms include:
Children can also have earaches, vomiting and diarrhea. For more information about influenza see the following links:
- Facts About... Influenza
- Know the Flu Facts
- Is it a cold or the flu?
- Facts About... Caring for Someone With the Flu
People at a greater risk for serious flu complications (such as pneumonia):
- older people
- young children
- pregnant women
- people with long-term medical problems
- residents in nursing homes and chronic care facilities
- Aboriginal Peoples
How the Flu Makes You Sick
What can I do to stay healthy?
- Simple Steps to Staying Healthy this Flu Season
- Stop the Spread of Germs! Prevent the Spread of Illnesses
The Flu Vaccine
Since 2000 Ontario has offered the flu vaccine, to anyone 6 months of age and older, living, working or studying in Ontario. This program provides FREE flu vaccine to all Ontarians who wish to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting or spreading the flu.
Trivalent (TIV) vaccines protect against 3 strains of influenza virus ( 2 influenza A and 1 influenza B strain) and quadrivalent (QIV) vaccines protect against 4 strains (2 influenza A and 2 influenza B strains). Children and adolescents are more likely to experience influenza B infections than adults.
FluMist® is a flu vaccine given by nasal spray, it is available for individuals ages 2 years through 59 years old (recommended for children 2 through 5 years old).
For more information about the influenza vaccines see the following links:
- Facts About... Seasonal Influenza Vaccines
- Facts About…FluMist® Quadrivalent
- 2015-2016 Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV) Fact Sheet
- 2015-2016 Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV) Fact Sheet
- 2015-2016 Trivalent Adjuvented Influenza Vaccine (Fluad) Fact Sheet
It's important to get my flu vaccine every year because...
- It reduces your chances of getting the flu
- It reduces the severity and duration of symptoms if you do get the flu
- It reduces the chance of spreading the flu virus to others, including vulnerable individuals
- the vaccine is updated each year as the virus types that cause the illness change often
Children between 6 months and 9 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine at least one month apart if they have never been vaccinated with the seasonal influenza vaccine. The two doses of seasonal influenza vaccine help the child’s body develop strong protection against influenza.
Where can I get the flu vaccine?
The seasonal flu vaccine is available to anyone 6 months of age and older during the fall and winter at:
- Most health care providers
- Walk-in clinics and community health centres
- Participating pharmacies (for individuals 5 years and older)
- Some workplaces
Due to the increased availability of the flu vaccine at walk-in clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers, Durham Region Health Department will not be hosting large community flu clinics this year.
- Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website to find a flu clinic near you.
How The Flu Shot Is Made
Other Important Links
- Pregnancy and the Flu
- Breastfeeding and the Flu
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Flu Information
- Flu Surveillance
- Facts About... Consenting To Immunization
- Your Health Information: Your Rights
Connects Durham Region healthcare providers to online information and resources to assist them in their daily practice.
Who can I contact?
- TeleHealth Ontario takes phone calls 24/7 at 1-866-797-0000, TTY: 1-866-797-0007
- Your health care provider
- Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729