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Flu season is here: Take the shot or wear a mask

Northern Health encourages public to be immunized
As the holiday season comes around, cases of influenza peak throughout the province. (Black Press File Photo)

Northern Health is reminding the public to get their annual flu shot, especially if there’s a chance that they’ll be entering a healthcare facility this season.

“People in the hospital are very sick and vulnerable, we know that catching influenza can lead to outbursts… it could make people very sick and lead to other health problems,” says Rakel Kling, Medical Health Officer from Northern Health.

“It’s even caused death in some people, so we want to protect our most vulnerable and that includes those in the hospital.”

READ MORE: This flu season nothing to sneeze at

For those who haven’t received the flu shot, it’s highly recommended that they wear a mask when visiting patients to help minimize the spread of influenza. Free masks can by typically found by the hand sanitizing stations.

Kling says that especially during the weeks leading up to Christmas, influenza cases spike throughout the province.

“When there’s more gatherings and social events where people are together more, there tends to be higher transmissions of influenza.”

READ MORE: Hospitals, care homes struggle wth influenza

The shot is free for anyone who qualifies to be at a higher risk, which would include children under five, seniors over 65 and pregnant women. The cost of the vaccine is approximately $25 - $30.

To find an Influenza Flu Clinic, most public health clinics and pharmacies will offer it. On, British Columbians can use the Health Unit Finder to help find the closest location near them.

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