News release

Nova Scotians Urged to Get Free Flu Shot

With the height of the flu season set to begin, Nova Scotians are reminded of the importance of getting a free flu shot.

"I want to remind Nova Scotians to be vigilant about the flu," said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer for Nova Scotia. "I expect, in the coming month, our level of flu activity will rise and that we will see cases of both H1N1 and H3N2. The flu can result in serious illness and the flu shot is a safe and easy method of prevention."

This year's seasonal flu vaccine provides protection against both the H1N1 and H3N2 flu strains. The flu shot is free for Nova Scotians and is available at doctors' offices across the province.

So far in Nova Scotia there is a low level of flu activity. Since the beginning of flu season in September, there have been five lab-confirmed cases of influenza. The main flu strain present in Nova Scotia is H3N2, but there are also reports of H1N1 activity.

Flu symptoms usually include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat.

Proper hygiene, such as handwashing and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, are important to prevent the spread of influenza and many other infections. People with flu symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Strang is reminding Nova Scotians to get their flu shots.

Dr. Strang says as the province enters the height of flu season, we can expect flu activity to increase.

The flu shot is free and is a safe, effective method of prevention.

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Media Contact:

Carla Grant
Health and Wellness 902-424-7558 E-mail: