Sarah Dufresne

Sarah Dufresne

Flu clinics signal start of season

Greater Trail will be host to four flu clinics this fall.

Even though people are disheartened about the prospect of the entire NHL season being cancelled, they can still look forward to another season.

Influenza (flu) season is approaching and Greater Trail will be host to four training camps (flu clinics) beginning Oct. 14 before the games begin in earnest this fall.

The flu vaccine is free for many people including people over 65, children up to five years old, aboriginal people, health care providers and pregnant women.

According to Interior Health, the flu is a highly contagious infection and can be very serious, especially for those with heart, lung and other health problems.

In years when influenza is widespread in B.C., hundreds of people may die from influenza or its complications, such as pneumonia, said Dr. Rob Parker, IHA medical health officer, in a press release.

“The two most important ways to protect yourself from getting the flu are to wash your hands frequently and get your flu shot,” he said. “Flu vaccinations are a proven, safe and effective way to reduce your chances of getting the flu. The flu shot also lessens the severity of symptoms for those who do get the flu.”

Dr. Parker also noted that the flu shot cannot give people the flu. The vaccine used in B.C. contains dead influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.

The flu shot is anywhere from 60 to 90 per cent effective in preventing influenza, he added, and if people don’t get it they can’t spread it.

People not eligible for the free flu vaccine through the publicly-funded program should contact their physician, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic, travel clinic or private provider to arrange one.

Many physician offices and pharmacies—such as the pharmacy in Ferraro Foods—also provide vaccines free to those who are eligible.

For more information about influenza, contact your local public health office (look under Interior Health in the blue pages of your phone book) or visit our website at www.interiorhealth.ca.

Information is also available on the Immunize BC website at www.immunizebc.ca, or on HealthLink BC at www.healthlinkbc.ca. You can also call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak to a health-care professional.

The schedule released by Interior Health:

Rossland – Nov. 2 Rossland Miners Hall 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trail – Nov. 7 at the Cominco Gym 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trail – Nov. 14 at the Kiro Wellness Centre 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fruitvale – Nov. 23 at the Fruitvale Hall 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trail – Nov. 28 at the Kiro Wellness Centre 9 a.m. to noon

Trail – Dec. 12 at the Kiro Wellness Centre 9 a.m. to noon. Children’s second immunizations by appointment.