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Influenza, or the flu, as it is more commonly known, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Although for most people the flu will disappear within a few days, for some it can be quite serious and has been attributed to thousands of hospitalisations and even deaths every year.

Anyone can be susceptible to the flu virus, but certain groups of people are more at risk, as they could develop more serious complications from the disease. These groups include:

  • Babies and children below 5 years of age.
  • Adults above 65 years of age.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Those with weakened immune systems.
  • People with chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, etc.

The flu is seasonal, meaning that the onset of the flu season comes on when the weather starts getting colder. Those who catch the flu virus will display the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

While antibiotics aren’t effective against the flu virus; rest, plenty of fluids, and nutritious foods are the best ways to get rid of it. However, you should immediately consult a doctor if you have the following symptoms, which are more serious in nature.

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Continuous dizziness.
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle pain.
  • Severe weakness.

In extreme cases where the flu shows more severe complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, heart problems, etc, hospitalisation will be required in order to treat the illness effectively and to prevent serious complications.

One of the best ways of protecting yourself from the flu is to get the flu vaccine. You can get the flu vaccine in Bayswater, Ascot Vale, and Hobsons Bay (Spotswood) and many other cities through clinics that provide vaccination services. Although getting the flu vaccine doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get the disease, by taking the vaccine, you can drastically reduce the severity of the virus if you do get it. However, you will need to ensure that you get the flu shot annually, without fail.

The flu vaccine needs to be given annually because the flu virus is an ever-evolving one, and new variants of the virus are found each season. Hence the flu vaccine you got last season may not be effective against the new variants of the virus which are around this season. To combat this problem, vaccine manufacturers conduct continuous research and development to create new, updated vaccines every year which are able to fight the new variants.

While there may be very mild side effects to the flu vaccine such as headache, low fever, redness or irritation near the point of injection, headache, and muscle pain, the benefits of getting the flu vaccine are far greater, considering the great cost individually as well as to the nation in terms of medical care for hospitalisations.

Now there may just be another reason for you to get the flu vaccine in Ascot Vale, Bayswater, Hobsons Bay (Spotswood), or any other city in Australia. It has been found that getting the flu shot can significantly reduce the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke!

The immune response created when you get the flu virus causes a lot of inflammations, and the plaque in your blood vessels could become unstable, leading to blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes. In addition, the virus lowers the body’s blood oxygen levels making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. It has been found that many patients suffering from chronic diseases, who had the flu shot, showed a lesser chance of getting a stroke or heart attack bringing the death rate from such diseases down.

On another note, it is common knowledge that people with chronic diseases such as heart disease are more susceptible to the flu virus and may be more prone to other complications that come with it, therefore the vaccine is an excellent way to stay protected.

Don’t let the flu bug get you down and stop you from enjoying life. Get your flu vaccine in Bayswater, Ascot Vale, Hobsons Bay (Spotswood), or any other city, through clinics that provide immunisation services. You can now make an appointment online, easily and conveniently with clinics that provide flu vaccines in Ascot Vale, Bayswater, Hobsons Bay (Spotswood), and elsewhere and get your seasonal flu vaccine today.

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