Despite being a signal for everything pumpkin spice — the start of fall also signals the start of cold and flu season. Families Fighting Flu (FFF) is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to raising awareness about the seriousness of the flu and the importance of annual flu vaccination. FFF members include families whose loved ones have suffered serious complications or died from influenza. Members also include health care professionals and advocates committed to flu awareness and prevention. Through education and advocacy work, FFF’s goal is to prevent other families from experiencing the devastating effects of flu.
Influenza (flu) isn’t just a bad cold — it’s a serious disease! Each year, approximately 650,000 people across the world lose their lives to the flu. In fact, influenza and pneumonia are ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death in Canada, and upwards of 80,000 Americans lose their lives to flu every year. Flu is a serious risk to everyone because it doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of age, gender, health status, lifestyle, or ethnicity, we’re all at risk of the flu and its associated complications.
Fortunately, there’s a way that we can help protect not only ourselves, but also others around us — an annual flu vaccination. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in Canada recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older, with rare exceptions. Annual flu vaccination is the best defence to help protect us against illness and flu-related hospitalization and death. In addition to vaccination, practice frequent hand-washing, use your elbow to cover your cough or sneeze, and disinfect hard surfaces at home and work. If you do get sick, stay home to avoid exposing others.