ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland's largest health authority has imposed visitor restrictions on a nursing home, adding to a growing list of health facilities affected by an influenza-like virus.

Eastern Health says only immediate family members will be allowed to visit patients at the Blue Crest Nursing Home in Grand Bank.

Nearly 20 other health facilities have either been closed or are under visitor restrictions.

The health authority says people should not visit any health facility in the region if they feel ill or are experiencing flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms.

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  • Myth: The Flu Shot Makes You Sick

    The flu shot can give you a sore arm and aches. Each year’s vaccine is only designed to protect against the strains it includes. Fever occurs infrequently after vaccination, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

  • Myth: I Have To Get A Needle

    A nasal spray version of the vaccine is approved for use in Canada. Provincial health plans may not cover the cost.

  • Myth: Flu Vaccines Don't Work

    A review of studies from 1967 to 2012 concluded that standard injectable influenza vaccines containing three strains protect healthy adults aged 18 to 64 at a rate of about 59 per cent. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota and the report's lead author. "During some influenza seasons vaccination offers substantially more protection for most of the population than being unvaccinated; however, influenza vaccine protection is markedly lower than for most routinely recommended vaccines and is suboptimal," the report concluded.

  • Myth: Only Doctors And Nurses Can Give Vaccinations

    Pharmacists in four provinces — British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick, can give flu shots. Official regulations for pharmacists are pending in Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia, said Jeff Morrison of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Matthews said that by expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists gives people more options to get immunized, such as coming in for a flu shot during their lunch break.

  • Pregnant Women Can't Be Vaccinated

    Getting immunized during pregnancy protects women and infants for the first six months of life when they can't be vaccinated, Dr. Scott Halperin, head of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax, said in an interview. If you are pregnant (or planning to get pregnant) it is safe to get immunized with the inactivated influenza vaccine, Alberta Health Services says.