As predictions for this year’s flu season is tipped to be one of the worst with the number of cases rising year on year, it’s more important than ever that you and your family are immunised against the flu.
Since March 2015, the number of confirmed cases of flu stands at 4,838, more than 500 extra cases compared to last year. The flu is also responsible for more deaths in Australia than road accidents, with 1500-3500 reported every year.
The flu can be contracted all year round, the worst times are during the cooler months peaking around August. The best ways to avoid getting the flu is to get you and your family immunised with this year’s vaccine. As the flu virus changes each year, the 2015 flu vaccine has been modified to be active against two new strains of virus.
The flu is highly contagious and can be spread by infected people coughing or sneezing as well as from touching contaminated surfaces.
The flu is characterised by a sudden high fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, body aches and pains and feeling unwell.
The flu should not be thought of as a minor health problem – it can be seriously debilitating and can be life-threatening for high-risk patient groups such as people with heart or lung conditions or with immune disorders.
Pharmacy Immunisation Services and Advice
It’s now a lot easier to get your flu shots as more and more pharmacies offer an influenza immunisation service. Check with your local pharmacy if and when there may be a flu immunisation service for this season.
People in high-risk groups may be entitled to a free flu vaccine from their GP.
If you are showing cold and flu symptoms this winter, your local pharmacy can help you with symptomatic relief and advice on how to recover as quickly as possible and ensure that high-risk patients are seen to by their GP.
If you want to know more about the flu or about getting immunised against it, see your GP or Ask Your Pharmacist.