Have a plan for flu season: Manitoba health officials

There’s a lot to look forward to over the holiday season, but the flu likely isn’t something on your list.

The flu has already hit early in other regions, particularly in the United States, and Manitoba health officials are urging people to take the necessary steps to prevent getting sick this winter.

Dr. Bunmi Fatoye, Medical Officer of Health at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), told 680 CJOB that while flu season hasn’t officially arrived in Winnipeg, the virus has already begun making its rounds.

“We’ve known that we’ve had some positive viruses detected already in Winnipeg, so we know the viruses are in circulation,” said Fatoye.

“I’m not aware of any severe complications such as hospitalizations that are out of proportion to what we’d expect.”

READ MORE: Manitobans urged to get seasonal flu shot

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Fatoye said Manitobans shouldn’t wait until flu season is in full force before getting immunized.

“We don’t want to wait until we see full brunt of the flu season, because we know there is the risk of severe complications and hospitalization.

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“We want to prevent from going into that state. Usually we’d see the peak of activity around the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t come early.”

Although getting the shot — which is available from a number of providers, including pharmacies and clinics — and basic precautions like washing your hands frequently and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue are all essential safeguards, Fatoye encourages people to come up with a plan in case they get sick.

“What if you fall sick and the illness doesn’t go the way it should go? What’s your plan for childcare if you have kids who are sick? What’s your plan as an adult if you have to go to work?

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“When you’re sick, you’re also at risk of transmitting it to others, so we want people to have a plan of how they could manage it as well.”

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