Updated November 30, 2016
Influenza, also called the flu is a respiratory infection. The flu virus spread by droplets from an infected persons’ cough, sneeze or talk. Your kids or co-worker can pass the flu virus to you before they show symptoms. Flu germs can live on surfaces like table tops or door handles for up to 8 hours. A person may catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Note: When the full image opens, click on it to enlarge.
Adapted with consent from Global News
Coughs from a sick person may contain millions of microscopic germs in the mucus. It takes two weeks to recover from the flu. See "What Happens When You Get the Flu" to learn more.
6 Step to Staying Healthy
- get your flu shot early
- wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes and face
- cover your cough or sneeze
- do not share drinking cups and utensils
- do the fist bump instead of shaking hands
Flu and Kids
Kids get the flu most often. Kids under 5 years of age are at greater risk of complications. Flu shots are free for babies 6 months of age and older. For healthy kids ages 2 to 17 years of age, parents can choose from two flu vaccines, given as an injection or as a nasal spray (where available).
Tips to reduce your child’s pain during vaccination:
- Stay calm and use your normal voice
- Distract your child with a toy, a game or sing a song
- Hold your child in a sitting position during vaccination
- Get your child to relax their arm (tensing up makes it hurt more)
- Do deep breathing together with your child
- Offer praise and a reward after vaccination