Health officials warn Manitobans that height of the flu season is on its way

Health authorities are reminding Manitobans to get their flu shot as numbers start to spike across the country. Devin Sauer / Global News

WINNIPEG — If coughing, sneezing and nose blowing aren’t familiar sounds in your home or your office, they might be soon.

Influenza numbers are currently low in Manitoba compared to other parts of the country, but that isn’t expected to last.

READ MORE: Flu season: Signs you’re too sick and should stay home

“The Christmas holidays afford a great opportunity for a virus like this to spread all over the place with people travelling across the country,” Dr. Pierre Plourde with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said.

Plourde is reminding Manitobans that the flu shot is still being offered at most doctors’ offices and pharmacies.

“We may still be a week or two away from our provincial outbreak, so it’s never too late, and the good news is the vaccine covers four strains this year instead of three,” Plourde said.

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READ MORE: Flu outbreaks, hospitalizations reported across Canada, latest numbers show

The period of time you’re contagious starts before the symptoms appear so you could be spreading the virus without even knowing it, Plourde says. At the University of Manitoba, the health department advises taking extra steps when it comes to prevention.

“We would recommend good night’s sleep, doing things that minimize stress in the workplace and at home,” Glen Bergeron, athletic therapist said.

“Good opportunities for relaxation like meditation is helpful.”

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