The Interior Health Authority will offer a series of flu shot clinics in Summerland and throughout the Okanagan Valley.
“Influenza is a serious infection of the airways and can be quite severe,” said Dr. Moliehi Khaketla, medical health officer with Interior Health. “It is highly contageous and is among the top 10 leading causes of death in Canada.”
Influenza spreads when a person comes in contact with droplets from an infected person who coughs or sneezes.
The symptoms — fever, body aches, headache, dry cough, sore throat and dry throat — arrive one to four days after being exposed to the virus.
The symptoms are worst in the first three to four days, but the infection can linger for one to two weeks.
Home treatments for influenza include rest and drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. Medications are also available to lower the flu symptoms.
However, the best protection comes from immunization, Khaketla said.
“The influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to help you and your family stay healthy and to prevent illness,” she said.
This year’s flu shot provides protection from the influenza strains which are expected to circulate this season.
The information is based on worldwide trends identified by the World Health Organization.
The vaccine provides protection against two influenza A viruses, an H1N1 and an H3N2 virus and against one influenza B virus.
The shot is free for those with a risk of complications from influenza and for those in contact with people at risk.
A flu vaccine clinic will be held at the Summerland Health Centre, 12815 Atkinson Rd., on Nov. 4 from 2 to 6 p.m. The clinic is by appointment only. The contact number is 250-404-8050.
A drop-in flu vaccine clinic will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 15244 Victoria Rd. N. on Nov. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Flu vaccines are also available at Shoppers Drug Mart, 10108 Jubilee Rd., each Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.