Communicable Diseases - Influenza

Communicable Disease Prevention and Control

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Influenza- Respiratory Diseases

Vaccination is a safe, simple and effective way to prevent the flu. The flu shot helps Nova Scotians avoid getting influenza themselves, and avoid spreading it to family, friends, co-workers and people in their care, such as patients in health care settings, and residents in long-term care facilities.

Is the flu shot free?

Yes, the flu shot provided through the influenza immunization program is free of charge for all Nova Scotians.

Where can I get a flu shot?

You can get a flu shot at most pharmacies around the province, at your doctor’s office, some clinics offered by Public Health, and in some workplaces.

For more information on what is happening in your area, please check with:

Who should get a flu shot?

We encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine, but especially people at high risk of complications including the elderly, the young (six months to 5 years), Aboriginal people, pregnant women, anyone with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, obesity (BMI of 40 or more) and those who live with, or care for, individuals in the high risks groups.

Should pregnant women get a flu shot?

Yes, the flu shot is especially important for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies before and after birth. It is safe and effective at any stage of pregnancy.

Is the flu shot safe for breastfeeding mothers?

Yes, the flu shot is safe for breastfeeding mothers. Breast milk also has many natural factors that support a baby’s immune system.

What else can I do to avoid getting the flu?

Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after a sneeze or cough. When soap and water are not handy, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an acceptable alternative.

Cover your cough and sneeze.

Limit touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Do not share drinking glasses, or eating utensils, water bottles, mouth guards, or cosmetics.

How do I know if I have the flu?

Flu symptoms include a fever, cough, unusual tiredness, headaches, muscle or joint aches, and sore throat. You can call 811 to speak with a registered nurse who can help with management of your symptoms and provide advice regarding whether you need to seek additional care.

What should I do if I have the flu?

Stay home, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of clear liquids. Call 811 to talk to a registered nurse about treating your flu symptoms. Avoid contact with other people, wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze to prevent spreading the flu.

Does the flu shot protect against H1N1?

Yes, this year’s vaccine will protect against three strains of the seasonal influenza that are predicted to circulate this season, including H1N1.