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Prevent Illness and Stay Healthy Through Respiratory Illness Season (modified from the Ontario College of Family Physicians) 

As we head into the fall respiratory illness season, we’d like to share some suggestions to help all of us prevent illness and stay healthy. To access this information online, you can visit StayHealthyOntario.ca.

One of the most important things we can all do to prevent serious illness is to ensure we are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots.

This fall, everyone six months of age and over is eligible for the latest COVID-19 vaccine, recently approved by Health Canada. The flu shot will also be available in the coming weeks. 

When it comes to other measures to prevent illness and stop the spread of viruses, Ontarians know what to do. Layers work: get your vaccines, wear a mask when appropriate, wash and sanitize your hands often and stay home when you’re sick. If you have symptoms and plan to see your family doctor, wear a mask to protect your doctor, clinic staff and other patients.  

Family doctors are also urging those who are at a higher risk of severe illness to have a plan to access treatments. Planning ahead is important because treatments need to be accessed quickly. Paxlovid is one treatment for higher-risk patients with COVID-19 and, to be effective, it needs to be taken within the first five days of symptoms. 

If you think you are at a higher risk, talk to your family doctor to come up with a plan – that way, if you do become sick, you’ll know what to do.