It’s that time of year again – the sound of sniffles and the sight of runny noses is abounding – but it’s not the flu.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer says absenteeism is up as rhinovirus – better known as the common cold – makes its annual autumn rounds.
“It's the common cold – so, runny nose, cough. In contrast to the flu, you don't run much of a fever and you don't have that same kind of ‘oh, I feel lousy’ kind of thing that you get with the flu,” said Dr. James Talbot.
Talbot said the timing of this most recent wave of the bug is typical, with children picking up the virus at school and bringing it home to parents.
To limit your chances of coming down with the cold, Talbot advised washing your hands often and coughing into your arm.
Flu season is coming
Health officials are urging Albertans at high risk of catching the flu – the very young and very old, in particular – to get a flu shot.
Nearly one million Albertans get the flu shot every year – a number health officials are hoping to increase this year.
Flu shots will be rolling out across the province beginning October 21.