Northern Health is advising at-risk residents who haven’t had an influenza vaccine to book an appointment through their local public health nurse or physician. The influenza season is fast approaching, traditionally peaking between December and March.
“The flu vaccine is both safe and effective,” said Dr. David Bowering, Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer, “and we’d like to urge people in at-risk groups to make sure they get immunized.”
Influenza strikes hardest at seniors, as well as people of all ages with a chronic health condition. Flu vaccination can provide at-risk individuals with protection against the influenza virus and help protect them from serious complications like pneumonia.
In preparing for the upcoming season, public health nurses across have been receiving calls from the public about avian flu. Northern BC residents should know that avian influenza is a disease affecting poultry and wildfowl. While limited human-to-human transmission may have occurred in Asia, it is not a threat to people here at this time. There’s currently no vaccine available to protect humans from avian influenza.
For more information about influenza vaccination, residents should contact a public health nurse at their local health unit. Frequently asked questions about influenza are also available at www.northernhealth.ca
Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms should consult with their physician for diagnosis and treatment.
For more information on influenza symptoms and other health issues, residents can also call the BC NurseLine toll-free at 1-866-215-4700, or TTY at 1-866-889-4700 for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Registered nurses at this line provide confidential health information and advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Translation services are available in 130 languages. Visit BC HealthGuide at www.bchealthguide.org for more information.
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