Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Various strains of the virus circulate throughout the world year-round, causing local outbreaks.
Influenza (or flu) is a common respiratory illness affecting millions of Canadians each year. In Canada, flu season usually runs from November to April.
The most effective way to protect yourself from the flu is to be vaccinated each year in the fall. Regular hand washing is another way to help minimize your risk. By washing your hands often, you will reduce your chance of becoming infected.
Washing your hands is more important than ever.
Find out more about the symptoms of the flu and what you can do to lower your risk by consulting the following resources:
These fact sheets provide information on why it is important to wash your hands, as well as tips on when and how you should do it.
For more information on flu and flu shot clinics in your area, visit the provincial/territorial links below or contact your local or provincial/territorial health authority:
Consult the brochure Access to the seasonal flu vaccine in Canada - How the flu shot makes its way from the laboratory to the doctor's office for information on the development, regulation and distribution of the flu vaccine in Canada.
Learn more about how the Government of Canada is preparing for a potential Influenza Pandemic:
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread easily and quickly among birds. There are at least 15 types of avian flu. They are all caused by various strains of type A influenza virus.
For most Canadians, the risk of getting avian influenza (bird flu) is extremely low. However, it is important to know how to minimize your risks, especially if you are travelling to an area affected by avian flu.