Brampton - Starting Oct. 24, Peel Public Health will hold community flu clinics for Peel residents. The clinics will be set up in easily accessible locations such as schools, malls and community centres throughout Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. The complete schedule of clinics is available at www.peelregion.ca/flu and is also advertised in local newspapers.
"Influenza or the flu is a serious respiratory infection that can affect people of any age, but it can be prevented by getting the flu vaccine every year and by practising good hand washing," says Dr. David Mowat, the Region of Peel's Medical Officer of Health.
At Peel Public Health clinics, residents may be asked to provide proof of address such as a photo ID (driver's license or student card), a bill, health card, or proof of work in Ontario. Individuals who are not fluent in English should be accompanied by a translator.
Dr. Mowat also recommends following these additional tips to protect against the flu:
1. Washing your hands with soap and water or cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner before handling or eating food, after using the toilet, after sneezing or wiping your nose, and whenever your hands are dirty.
2. Covering your nose and mouth with disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing, or coughing and sneezing in your sleeve.
3. Staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading your germs.
4. Keeping your immunizations up to date. It will help your immune system stay healthy and prevent you from getting sick with a vaccine-preventable illness.
Family doctors and some workplaces will also be offering flu vaccinations. Children aged six to 12 months must get their flu vaccination from their family doctor.
For more information on Peel Public Health's 2008 – 2009 Beat the Flu Campaign, call the Region of Peel - Public Health at 905-799-7700 or visit www.peelregion.ca/flu. Caledon residents can call toll free at 905-584-2216.