6 precautions to stop the spread of flu

Also known as the influenza virus, the flu is a public health enemy that can seriously affect your health. Fever, cough, sore throat and fatigue are the most common symptoms, but other complications can affect your respiratory tract.

The flu virus usually resurfaces during the fall and winter seasons. In this article, we explore six crucial precautions you can take to reduce the risk of spreading the flu.

If your symptoms worsen or you experience complications, seek advice from a healthcare professional.

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1. Staying at home

The first and simplest precaution you can take is to stay at home if you’re feeling unwell or have flu-like symptoms. We encourage teleworking and home shopping whenever possible, to minimize the spread of the virus in public spaces.

Rest is also essential to your health, as lack of sleep weakens your immune system, compromising your ability to fight off viruses.

2. Stay well hydrated

Maintaining adequate hydration is a crucial measure in the fight against the flu. Drinking regularly and in sufficient quantity helps keep your throat moist, relieving sore throats and coughs. Water also helps flush toxins from your system, helping to boost your immune system.

3. Wash hands and wear a mask

Preventing the spread of germs starts with simple but effective habits. Washing hands frequently and correctly can significantly reduce the risk of infection. In addition, wearing a mask offers extra protection, limiting the transmission of viral particles. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

4. Limit contact with others

Be aware of your social interactions and adopt alternatives such as no-touch greetings to protect your community. Avoid shaking hands and limit physical contact with others, as cold viruses can survive on the skin for several hours. Combined with wearing a mask and frequent hand-washing, you’re actively helping to reduce the spread of the flu.

5. Take appropriate medication

Medications such as Tylenol or Advil can relieve symptoms, but it’s essential to seek professional advice to ensure proper management. In the event of flu symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate advice.

6. Get a flu shot

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Vaccination remains one of the most effective ways of preventing influenza in children and adults, boosting your immunity and protecting those around you. Health Canada recommends that everyone aged 6 months or over, with no contraindications, get vaccinated against the flu every year.

At ELNA Medical, we strongly encourage our patients to get vaccinated every year, offering increased protection against the dominant viral strains. For more information on the different vaccine options available to you, don’t hesitate to discuss it with a healthcare professional.

When should you see a doctor about the flu?

Several situations may require an appointment with a healthcare professional (doctor or nurse):

  • Get personalized preventive advice: Influenza can be prevented with simple but essential precautions. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for advice tailored to your medical history.
  • Getting the flu shot: It’s always a good idea to check with your provincial government or local health authorities for the latest instructions. Find out more about the vaccine.
  • Get tested for influenza (PCR and TDR): Flu symptoms strongly resemble those of COVID-19. If you’re in any doubt about the nature of your symptoms, you can ask a clinic to perform a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a rapid antigen detection (RDT) test, using respiratory samples such as throat or nose swabs.
  • Consult for a minor emergency: If flu symptoms worsen (high fever, pain on breathing that lasts more than 5 days), you may need to see a healthcare professional.

Seeing a doctor for the flu in Quebec

Whether it’s for a simple consultation or a minor emergency, if you don’t have a family doctor, the waiting time for an appointment can be long. However, private clinics accept new patients for flu-related symptoms (consultation, test, vaccine, urgent care) and it’s usually possible to get an appointment within a day. Discover ELNA Medical’s private clinics and services in Montreal, Saint-Laurent, Brossard, Boucherville, Pointe-Claire and Quebec City.

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At ELNA Medical, our priority is your well-being, and we’re here to guide you through these preventive measures. Let’s put our health first and act collectively to limit the spread of influenza.