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Flu season is coming - here's how Canadians can protect themselves

Flu season is coming - here's how Canadians can protect themselves
From Global News - October 13, 2017

Canadians could be heading towards a nasty flu season, but health experts recommend preparing yourself in advance.

Dr. Andy Simor at the department of microbiology and infectious diseases at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, says while its hard to predict exactly what the flu season in Canada this year will look like, its useful to look at how other countries like Australia are handling the flu.

This past flu season in Australia was much more severe than usual. They had more than double the number of cases compared to the previous year, he tells Global News, adding there was also an increased rate of hospitalizations and the number of influenza-related deaths.

It certainly raises concerns, [and] if were following the Australian experience, we have a more severe strain.

READ MORE: Heres why Canada may be in for a miserable 2017-18 flu season

When does flu season start?

While flu season officially doesnt start in Canada until November (which goes into April of 2018), Simor adds some public health officials in Toronto, for example, have already seen an increased number of influenza cases.

He adds typically, cases begin to peak in the months of December and January.

READ MORE: Flu shots available in Alberta starting Oct. 23; AHS not offering nasal spray

However, according to Public Health Agency of Canada, its too soon to know which strain of the flu will be present during the 2017-18 flu season.

When can I get the shot?

Most vaccines are available during the months of October or November, and since this could vary from region to region, you should always contact provincial and territorial health ministries to find out exact dates.

Other ways to keep yourself protected

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