An overview of Providence Health Care’s services and resources for patients experiencing influenza.


Influenza (also known as the flu) is a common respiratory disease. It's caused by the influenza virus. Having the flu puts you at risk of getting other illnesses, like pneumonia.

Flu outbreaks are most common from the beginning of December to the end of March.

Medicine to prevent the flu — called the “flu shot” — is available as a vaccine and a nose spray.

Everyone in Canada over the age of 6 months who does not have contradictions to the vaccine should get the shot. In B.C., the flu shot is available for free in October and early November.

Getting the flu shot is especially important if:

  • You are less than five years older or more than 65 years old.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You live in long-term care or assisted living.
  • You are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) or have a chronic illness.

Because the flu virus changes every year, you need to get a new flu shot every 12 months.

Along with the flu shot, you can avoid getting or spreading the flu by washing your hands regularly. You can also make healthy lifestyle choices like eating well and exercising.

Support services

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.

Education & resources

To learn more about the flu, visit the  BC Centre for Disease Control’s Influenza page. Here, you can learn how it's diagnosed and treated.

Clinical trials & research

Advances in influenza treatments are all thanks to medical research. While participating in research is a decision you should make for yourself in consultation with your care team, there is much activity in this area so please ask us about our research programs if you’re interested.

By taking part in research, you can help us all learn more about influenza and find better ways to help people like you live and thrive with the condition. While you cannot assume benefit to yourself, your participation can make a difference in improving care for future patients.

The following clinical trials are currently enrolling volunteers. Please ask your care team for more information or contact the research team listed on each study or trial. For other information about research at Providence Health Care, please visit Providence Research.

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