10 flu facts
Nr 1: Influenza, commonly referred to as “flu”, is more than a bad cold; it is a severe and sometimes life-threatening disease due to serious complications that can result from influenza infection.
Nr 2: Flu is very contagious. You can catch it from the air from someone who is sneezing or coughing, from close contact with someone who has flu or from touching contaminated objects and transferring germs to the respiratory system.
Nr 3: The injectable vaccine contains inactive viruses’ particles, so it is impossible to get influenza from the vaccine. Side-effects that may occur in some people include mild soreness, redness, swelling at the injection site, headache or a low-grade fever. These symptoms may last for 24-48 hours. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its complications.
Nr 4: The types of influenza viruses circulating in the community change from year to year. Because of this, each year a new vaccine is manufactured according to the strains that are expected to be circulating. It is important to get vaccinated against influenza every year and even though you get a new vaccine each year, last year’s vaccine is still working for you!
Nr 5: People with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease have a higher risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu. These individuals should be immunized each year. People who have a moderate or severe illness with fever should wait for their symptoms to lessen before getting vaccinated.
Individuals with severe allergies to eggs or those who have had previous vaccine-associated allergic reactions should avoid immunization.
Nr 6: Influenza affects people of all ages and is not only a danger to the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
Nr 7: It is never too late to get vaccinated. The best time to get vaccinated is before the flu season but vaccination during the flu season is still beneficial as the virus circulates well into winter.
Nr 8: Follow a healthy eating plan and exercise regularly to guard your body against infection in a natural way. Healthy food and exercise build your immune system, which is, apart from the vaccine, still your best defense against viruses.
Nr 9: Wash your hands regularly as proper hygiene can prevent all types of infection.
Nr 10: Visit your health care professional for more information or if you have queries about getting vaccinated or not.
FLU VACCINES ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT ALL INTERCARE CENTRES! Our friendly nursing staff will administer it for you and therefore you do not need to see a doctor. It only costs R55.
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