As a flu outbreak in Metro Vancouver has been declared a public health hazard by the Fraser Health Authority, here are seven easy ways to reduce your risk of catching the flu.

  • Get your flu shot every year. The flu shot is recommended as a priority for people at high risk of complications from the flu, including: children and adults with chronic health conditions, people who are morbidly obese, people 65 years  and older; all children aged six months to five years; healthy pregnant women; and aboriginal peoples.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Wash your hands before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using a washroom, after coughing and sneezing, after touching common surfaces.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands. 
  • Keep common surface areas — for example, doorknobs, light switches, telephones and keyboards — clean and disinfected.
  • Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.
  • Keep doing what you normally do, but if you get sick, stay home from school and work until you are feeling better and able to fully participate in regular activities.

Source: Public Health Agency of Canada