Influenza is a serious disease.
Influenza (The Flu)
The flu is more than a cold and can be a potentially deadly disease due to complications such as pneumonia and heart failure.
Symptoms can come on suddenly and include: fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough and stomach upsets.
Some people get severe symptoms. Others can have mild symptoms or none at all but they can still spread it among their family, co-workers and classmates without even realising it. The virus can survive for an hour or more in the air, on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic, and it can be transferred from tissues to hands.
Being young, fit and healthy does not protect you from the flu –as anyone can get it. The best protection is vaccination as it helps to prevent transmission of the virus, since an infected person can spread the virus before symptoms appear.
People that are at higher risk of developing complications if they get influenza include:
- pregnant women and women who have just given birth
- people with an ongoing health condition (like asthma, diabetes, cancer, a heart or lung condition, and conditions that affect the nervous or immune systems)
- significantly overweight people
- people aged 65 years or over
- very young children, especially infants (under 1 year)
It is important to know the facts about vaccination, so talk to your pharmacist. When more people are vaccinated, it is better for the community because it stops the spread of the virus. We can all do our bit to help ourselves and those around us.