If you have symptoms of the flu or pneumonia, even mild ones, see your healthcare provider right away. Both can be life-threatening.

According to NACI 2020-21, the flu and pneumonia combined to rank in the top 10 leading causes of death in Canada.

To support recovery, get bed rest, drink plenty of fluids and manage symptoms (like headaches and congestion) with non-prescription medication.

Those at high risk for flu complications may be prescribed antiviral medication to reduce the severity and how long it lasts.

Treatment for pneumonia may include antibiotics if bacteria is the suspected cause. Antibiotics, however, do not treat viral pneumonia. If you’re prescribed antibiotics it’s important to take them as directed, even if you start to feel better.

You may also be prescribed corticosteroid medication. Do not take cough or cold medication unless approved by your healthcare provider.

To support pneumonia recovery, rest at home and drink plenty of fluids. Some people with severe pneumonia may need to go to the hospital for additional support, like oxygen or intravenous medication.

Get the flu shot

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If you have questions about getting the flu shot, reach out to our Lung Health Line for free personalized assistance from a Certified Respiratory Educator. Chat online at or call toll-free 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).


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