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 vaccine free?

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

What types of flu vaccines are available?

Fluzone® High-dose vaccine is available for residents 65 years and older of long term care facilities (nursing homes or residential care facilities).

All other individuals will receive the standard-dose influenza vaccine (Fluzone® Quadrivalent  or Flulaval® Tetra).

Where can I get a flu shot?

For more information on what is happening in your area, please check with your family physician, family practice nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or local public health office.

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), indigenous peoples, pregnant women, anyone with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes and those who live with, or care for, individuals in the high risk groups.

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. Avoid contact with other people, wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze to prevent spreading the flu.