What is the flu?

The flu is an illness that affects people’s lungs. Most people recover completely from the flu on their own. However, the flu can make some people (such as Elders) seriously sick.


How does it spread?

The flu spreads through droplets contained in sneezes and coughs and by hand contact. That is why basic actions like covering your coughs and sneezes and washing your hands can greatly reduce its spread.


What are the symptoms of the flu?

Almost everybody who gets sick with the flu has a fever higher than 38 degrees Celcius and a cough. Other symptoms can include headache, chills, sore throat, not feeling hungry, muscle aches, feeling tired, runny nose, and sneezing.
If you are concerned or have these symptoms, stay at home and please call your community health centre or public health for more information. This will help prevent the flu from spreading.


What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

Getting a yearly influenza vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family.


Washing your hands prevents the spread of all flu viruses. Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often. No special soap is required.


When soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer (gel or wipes).


Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of tissue. Cough into your upper sleeve if you don't have a tissue.


Stay at home when you have the flu and try to stay away from others in the house.


Keep common surfaces and items clean and disinfected such as door handles, telephone mouthpiece, kitchen and bathroom counters, computer keyboards. You can use regular household cleaners to disinfect.



Don’t share drinking cups or bottles, lipstick, or cigarettes, and remember to keep personal items like toothbrushes separated.


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For More Information

For more information on the flu virus, please call your Community Health Centre, or in Iqaluit Public Health.