Seasonal Influenza, or the flu as it is more commonly known, is a highly contagious virus, usually prevalent during the cold winter months. The flu symptoms usually subside after a few days but can be quite dangerous for high-risk groups. The flu is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations every year, as well as many deaths, as a more severe attack of the flu can cause bronchitis, pneumonia, and other serious respiratory conditions.
What are the symptoms associated with the flu?
- Dry cough
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
Who are the high-risk groups that are most at risk from the flu virus?
- Pregnant women.
- Children less than 5 years of age.
- Adults above 65 years of age.
- People with chronic medical conditions such as Diabetes, Asthma, HIV, etc.
- Those with increased exposure to influenza such as healthcare workers.
The flu is highly contagious and fast-spreading, therefore if you have the flu, you should take precautionary measures such as avoiding crowded areas, hygienic disposal of used tissues, etc, in order to limit the transmission of the disease. Although you may not be one of the high-risk groups, it is always best to take precautionary measures so that you don’t transmit the virus to someone who is. If you do have the flu, remember to drink lots of fluids, preferably water, and take lots of bed rest.
One of the best ways of preventing yourself from getting seasonal influenza is to get the flu vaccine, which has proven over the years to be very effective at reducing the risk of flu, hospitalization, and death.
Getting the flu vaccine in Bayswater, Hobsons Bay, or anywhere else in the country, has many benefits, such as:
- It prevents you from getting sick with the flu virus.
- Reduces the risk of hospitalization.
- It works as a preventive method for those suffering from chronic diseases.
- Helps protect women during pregnancy, as well as after.
- Drastically reduces the death rate in children caused by flu.
- It reduces the severity of the disease for those who still get the flu even after vaccination.
- Protects the community spread of the disease.
So, how does the flu vaccine work?
The vaccine starts working about two weeks after being administered, and once the vaccine is taken, the body starts producing antibodies. When the flu virus attacks, the immunity system starts responding and antibodies intercept and block the virus, as well as to deactivate the virus.
Sometimes the flu vaccine can cause minor side effects, such as:
- Redness or irritation at the point of injection.
- Joint or muscle ache.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Mild fever.
There are also certain people who should not get the flu vaccine, such as:
- Babies under the age of 6 months.
- If you have had a severe reaction to the vaccine before.
- People with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
In general, the side effects of the flu vaccine are very mild in nature and disappear after a few days, and the benefits of getting yourself vaccinated far outweigh the side effects. However, it is always best to consult a medical professional before you get the vaccination.
You should ideally get the flu vaccine before the virus begins spreading in the community. The best time to start planning for the flu vaccine is in early fall so that it has sufficient time to take effect.
The flu vaccine is annual vaccination. This is because the influenza virus evolves very quickly and new variants of the virus appear. Therefore, flu vaccine manufacturers are constantly researching and developing vaccines that respond to these new variants of the virus. Hence the vaccine you got last year may not be effective against the new strains of the virus prevalent this year, which is why you need to get the vaccination done annually.
Many clinics have the flu vaccine in Bayswater, Hobsons Bay, and all other areas of the country, and these clinics will have updated information for you regarding both the virus and the vaccine.
These days if you want to get your flu vaccine in Hobsons Bay, Bayswater, or any other area, you can make an online appointment at the clinic, which is safer and more convenient.
Don’t let the flu virus get you down. Get protection for yourself as well as your community by getting the flu vaccination.