Health department offering flu vaccine

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The government of Manitoba is once again encouraging families to get a flu shot this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and LDH recommend yearly flu shots for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as allergic reactions to the shot.

Getting vaccinated is important for everybody, she said, but especially young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with a history of heart disease, and those with chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

"The flu vaccine provides protection against this serious illness", said Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen. The vaccine helps protect against pneumococcal disease, including a serious type of pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis.

The flu spreads when a person comes into contact with droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes. Symptoms can include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, or cough. In addition to getting immunized with a flu vaccine every fall, Manitobans can minimize the risk of getting or spreading seasonal flu by covering coughs and sneezes and washing their hands regularly. "If you are sick, stay home, and keep sick children away from daycares and schools", said Dr. Kling. The best way to avoid influenza is to get a flu shot, IH says. Vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common.

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Authorities say there's 65 percent containment Friday morning and there was minimal fire behavior overnight. At least 31 people have died - a number that is expected to rise - and thousands of homes have burned.

This year's shot offers protection against two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2 virus) and one influenza B virus.

Story courtesy of Greene County Public Health.

Flu shots are available at public health offices, nursing stations, doctor's offices, pharmacy ACCESS Centres or at flu shot clinics. You can also find a flu clinic near you by visiting the Influenza Clinic Locator (http://immunizebc.ca/clinics/flu) on the ImmunizeBC website.

Alaska has seen a spike of reported cases of flu since the beginning of September, reports the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology.

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