It’s Flu Season!

Admin 12 Nov , 2019


What’s all the Fuss About the Flu?

            Every fall we are encouraged to get our flu shot. In fact, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends all Canadians 6 months of age and older be immunized against influenza. But misinformation often prevents people from accessing this important part of a healthy winter. Read along to get the facts.

            Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. In Canada, it kills 3,500 people every year. New strains of influenza appear every year which is why an annual shot is recommended. Your flu shot CANNOT give you the flu. Influenza vaccines are safe and reduce the spread of flu viruses. Many people confuse the cold with influenza. Here’s a chart to help determine if it’s a cold or the flu.

 What is the flu shot?

The flu shot is a vaccine administered to create antibodies that provide the best protection against the influenza virus. The vaccine contains inactive (killed) flu viruses to produce an immune response without causing infection.

How can I get the flu?

The flu is transmitted by droplet contact like coughing, sneezing, unclean hands and even talking. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and if you are sick, cover your nose and mouth while practicing good hand hygiene.

When should I get my flu shot?

Get the flu shot by the end of October as flu activities can start as early as October and peak between December and February. Since it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies, getting vaccinated in time helps protect and prevent the spreading of flu viruses.

Contact your family doctor or ask about getting a flu shot when you are visiting the Portage Medical Family Health Team.

Is it a cold or the flu?

References and Related Links

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019). Influenza (Flu). Retrieved from:


Information gathered and prepared by L. Ogbor

Registered Nurse, Portage Medical Family Health Team




Looking for Community Support and Information?

Admin 18 Oct , 2019

Finding free or low-cost community supports and resources can be difficult and overwhelming. There are many different programs and services for people of all ages across the Niagara Region, but knowing how to access them can be tricky. A great first step for anyone is to call or google 211. This is a free, province-wide service, available to anyone via telephone or online to learn about social and human services in your area. You can request specific information from the website, or a phone representative, answering calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can direct you to services that help you.

Another useful resource is your community activity guide. Each local municipality has an activity guide in print and it can also be found online. These guides outline different social and recreational activities in your area. Also, your local library often has information on the different programs that they offer along with what may be happening in your community.

Portage Medical Family Health Team staff will also help you find more programs and services in our area. Just ask us!

211 Niagara:

Activity Guide


Information gathered and prepared by Alison B., MSW, RSW
Clinical Social Worker, Portage Medical Family Health Team

STOP Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients

Admin 12 Sep , 2019
  • One-on-one counselling
  • Phone call follow-ups for guidance and support
  • Expert advice from our smoking cessation counsellor
  • FREE Nicotine replacement therapy for 26 weeks

Speak to your doctor/health care provider or ask at reception to book an appointment.