‘Flu season on its way

By Michelle Pucci

With the holidays coming up, Laval’s regional health authority reminds residents that now is the time to get vaccinated.

“The ‘flu has spread a little faster than in previous years” said Stéphanie Daigneault, spokesperson for the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Laval.

“Right now, we’re monitoring it and it’s moderate but will likely spike for the holidays.”

This year’s ‘flu strain affects mostly older people, says Daigneault, whereas last year’s affected mostly younger people. Two influenza outbreaks were reported in old-age homes by the mid-November, according to a ministry report.

Those who are most at risk of getting the ‘flu should get vaccinated as soon as possible. There’s a two-week delay before the vaccine reaches its optimal effect.

Laval’s health authority is specifically encouraging children from six to 24 months and anyone over 60 years old to get the ‘flu shot. Women more than 13 weeks into their pregnancy and anyone with chronic illness are also more at risk.

Shots are given by appointment at local health clinics and Cité de la Santé hospital. Appointments can also be made online at monvaccin.ca.

To avoid getting sick or spreading germs, people are encouraged to wash their hands often, use antiseptics when sinks aren’t available, and coughing or sneezing in the bend of your elbow.

‘Flu symptoms include sudden fevers, headaches, fatigue, coughing, and muscle and joint pain.

Residents who feel ill are encouraged to call 811 for more information.
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