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November 9, 2006
Flu clinics set to open -- residents urged to “Do the Sleeve Sneeze”
  
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Director of Communicable Disease Control at Toronto Public Health, today encouraged Toronto residents to get the flu shot at clinics that are open and free to the public starting next week. The first clinics are on Monday and Tuesday at the Eaton Centre from noon to 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Yaffe also launched a health promotion campaign encouraging everyone to do their part to stop the spread of germs by keeping their hands clean, covering their cough and, when they do not have a tissue, to “Do the Sleeve Sneeze.”

The campaign will involve messages in newspapers, bus shelters and subway platforms, and includes the distribution of hand washing posters to 20,000 locations, including daycares and schools, hospitals and long term facilities, recreation centres and other community settings.

“With the onset of cold and flu season, we are asking people to do their best to keep their hands clean and help stop the spread of germs,” said Dr. Yaffe. “This means not using your hands to cover a cough or sneeze. And while it may be a simple message, it will require a change in behaviour from the ways we were taught when we were young.”

Dr. Yaffe demonstrated techniques to “Do the Sleeve Sneeze” and recommended an internet video produced by a group of doctors in the United States that can be viewed at http://www.coughsafe.com. “There are strategies coming forward in many jurisdictions on the same message - spread the word, not germs.”

The flu clinics are part of the Ontario government’s universal influenza vaccination program, making the flu shot available to every resident of Ontario over the age of six months. Last year, nearly 48,000 Toronto residents got the flu shot at clinics, double the number in 2000, the first year of the program.

For the flu clinic schedule or more information, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/health.

Media contact:
Rishma Govani, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974


 

 

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