Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik January 13, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Nunavik public health: get your flu shot

"Influenza is highly contagious and can hit hard even if you are in good health"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Kangiqsujuaq's then-mayor Mary Pilutrtuut receives her flu vaccine during Nunavik's 2009 H1N1 vaccine campaign. (FILE PHOTO)
Kangiqsujuaq's then-mayor Mary Pilutrtuut receives her flu vaccine during Nunavik's 2009 H1N1 vaccine campaign. (FILE PHOTO)

Now that the peak season for flu is here, Nunavik public health officials are urging the population to get vaccinated.

Nunavik’s acting public health director, Françoise Bouchard, said the predominant strain of flu in the region and throughout Quebec is H1N1.

Although H1N1 was strongest in 2009, “we would like to remind the population that this type of virus is just like any other seasonal flu,” Bouchard said in a Jan. 13 release. “It has been circulating for a few years now and is included in the vaccine currently given.

“Anyone who receives this shot is protected against it.”

Officials say the region has seen very few cases so far this year, while they continue to monitor the situation.

But, said Bouchard - it is important to remember that influenza is highly contagious and can hit hard even if you are in good health.

Influenza is a common respiratory illness affecting millions of Canadians each year. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, coughing and headaches.

Public health officials warn that certain people are at greater risk than others, especially for suffering from complications caused by the flu.

These include seniors, babies from six to 23 months and pregnant women. Anyone suffering from a chronic disease is also at greater risk.

Certain people are also considered at high risk for spreading the flu. These include health care workers, teachers, and essential service workers such as police, pilots, and flight attendants, and anyone who lives with someone at higher risk of suffering complications from the flu.

Nunavummiut can go to their local health centres to get their influenza vaccine, free of charge.

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