Influenza Information

Influenza Information

Influenza (also known as the “flu”) is a respiratory illness. Symptoms often include fever, headache, severe fatigue, generalized aches, lack of appetite, coughing and sore throat.

To see whether or not you or a family member might have influenza and what to do, please see below

If individuals experience these flu-like symptoms they are advised to:

  • Stay home from work, school or public gatherings until they no longer have a fever and are feeling better. Presence of a cough in the absence of other symptoms is not sufficient to keep an employee away from the work setting, as it is not unusual for individuals to experience a cough for days to weeks after infection.
  • See their health care provider if you are experiencing severe symptoms
  • Limit contact with household members and wash hands frequently
  • Use self-care measures such as increasing fluid intake, getting adequate rest and treat themselves for their symptoms. Avoidance of tobacco smoke and the use of cool compresses may also be helpful.

Individuals who are well are encouraged to go about their business as usual while adopting these simple prevention measures to minimize the risk of becoming infected:

  • Washing their hands well and frequently
  • Coughing and sneezing into their sleeve instead of their hands
  • Staying home when they are sick

Ottawa Public Health continues its enhanced surveillance measures in conjunction with the health care community and is in close communication with local first responders, health care providers and physicians as well as other public health agency partners, including provincial and federal agencies to protect the health and well-being of all residents and visitors to Ottawa.

For the most current number of confirmed cases of flu virus in Ontario and Ottawa, see the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care web site at

Is It a Cold Or the Flu?

Symptoms of the common cold Symptoms of influenza
Fever Rare usual high fever    (102 f-104 f, 39 c – 40 c) sudden onset, lasts 3-4 days.
Headache Rare usual, can be severe.
General aches and pains Sometimes, usually mild usual, often severe.
Fatigue and weakness Sometimes, usually mild usual, severe, may last 2-3 weeks or more
Extreme fatigue Unusual usual early onset, can be severe
Runny, stuffy nose Common common
Sneezing Common sometimes
Sore throat Common common
Chest discomfort, coughing Sometimes, mild to moderate usual, can become severe
Complications Can lead to sinus congestion or earache can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, can worsen a current chronic condition, can be  life-threatening

Flu Shots

We strongly recommend that ALL patients aged 6 months and over get flu shots. We particularly recommend it for higher risk patients including patients 5 years old and younger and those patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma or other lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer.

Keep an eye on our Flu Shot Clinics and Info page so you can book your shot.