MANITOULIN—The fall season means leaf jumping and pumpkin carving, but unfortunately it can also mean the flu for you and your loved ones.
According to Immunize Canada, the flu is responsible for about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths per year and can affect everyone, including those who are healthy.
The flu vaccine has benefited millions of Canadians since 1946, with a new flu vaccine available each year to protect citizens against the ever-changing flu viruses.
“Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory infection caused by influenza A or B viruses,” states a release from Influenza Canada. “In Canada it generally occurs each year in the late fall and winter months. Symptoms typically include the sudden onset of headache, chills, cough, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.”
The best way to protect yourself from the flu and those around you is to get a flu vaccine every year. Any Ontario resident six months and older is eligible for the free vaccination in Ontario.
Other things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu is cleaning your hands frequently and thoroughly, coughing and sneezing into the bend of your arm and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and things that you often touch.
Flu clinics have already started on Manitoulin Island, but there are still many opportunities to get vaccinated across the Island, just be sure to bring your Ontario Health Card.
In Little Current, there are flu shot clinics at the North East Manitoulin Family Health Team (next to the hospital) for rostered patients on Friday, October 24 from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 3 pm and on Monday, November 10 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.
Shots are also available at the Little Current Guardian Pharmacy during regular business hours. Call 705-368-2530 for more information.
Mindemoya residents have four options, at the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team (MCFHT) in the basement of the Mindemoya Hospital, at the Mindemoya Medical Pharmacy, at a clinic at Central Manitoulin Public School (CMPS) on Monday November 3 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm and at the Sudbury District Health Unit Mindemoya Office by appointment.
MCFHT clinics for patients are on Wednesday, October 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 am for patients ages 65 and over for high risk patients, Thursday, October 23 from 1 to 7 pm for all patients and Thursday, October 30 from 1 to 7 pm.
Flu shots are available during the regular hours of operation at Mindemoya Medical Pharmacy (the Guardian). Individuals are asked to call ahead to ensure the pharmacists who can administer the shots are available (705-377-5411).
The Aundeck Omni Kaning Naandwehgiigamik Health Centre is having its next flu shot clinic this Friday, October 24 from 9 am until 12 pm and is open to anyone.
The M’Chigeeng Health Centre is offering flu shots from 8 am to 4 pm on October 22, 23, 27, 28 and 29.
In the West End, the Gore Bay Medical Centre is hosting flu shot clinics on Friday, October 24 and Friday, October 31 from 9 am to noon and 1:15 to 3 pm.
Residents can also get their flu shots from the Sudbury and District Health Unit at C.C. McLean Public School on Monday, November 10 from 3 to 6 pm.
The Zhibbaahsing Health Centre is offering a clinic on Thursday, October 30 from 10 am to 2 pm, while the Sheshegwaning Health Centre has a walk-in clinic on Tuesday, November 4 from 12 to 5 pm.
Flu shots are available at the Guardian Pharmacy in Manitowaning, however individuals are asked to call ahead to see if the flu shot trained pharmacist is available (705-859-2323).
Also in Manitowaning, the Assiginack Medical Clinic is a holding clinic on Thursday, October 23 from 2 to 3 pm, in addition, the Sudbury and District Health Unit is holding a walk-in clinic at Assiginack Public School on Monday, October 27 from 3 until 6 pm.
The Wikwemikong Health Centre (Nahnadahweh Tchigehgamig) is holding walk-in clinics every Tuesday until mid-December from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Sheguiandah First Nation Health Centre is holding its next clinic on Wednesday, October 22 from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Whitefish River Community Health is holding flu shot clinics from Wednesday, October 29 from 10 am to 3 pm and Wednesday, November 5 from 2 to 6 pm. There are also walk-ins available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 3:30 pm.