The onset of cooler temperatures means the flu season is back, but there are some simple precautions you can take to help you stay healthy this winter.
It is estimated there are more than 5000 people hospitalised each year in Australia because of influenza. Every year, 170 deaths due to influenza are recorded.
Governments, doctors and hospitals across the country are gearing up for the flu season to help treat patients.
People will be better protected if they are vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated, the less influenza can spread through the community.
Its recommended that you receive your flu vaccination in early autumn, but it’s not too late once winter starts. The peak transmission season normally hits in August.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said young children, and older adults were most commonly affected by influenza. Young children have a more susceptible immune system and the flu can spread quickly in the school playground, while pregnant women are also at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.
Brisbane was Australia’s flu capital in 2016, recording the highest rates of influenza nationwide with 100,000 cases recorded in August.
The advice from all medical professionals is protect yourself with a flu vaccine.
“Influenza is a significant cause of illness and death and we know that getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the community from the virus,” Professor Murphy sHYPERLINK “http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/australians-urged-to-get-influenza-vaccine-in-april-as-new-supply-gets-a-boost/news-story/3288c35ed7e8c60110cbf5285de717ef”aid.
The Government said: “The best advice from medical experts is that it’s important to get a flu shot every year. This is due to the fact that circulating viruses change.”
The flu vaccine is available at chemists and local doctors – all you need to do is make a booking.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, there are some precautions you can use to help you prevent catching the flu this season.
The best advice is to wash your hands. Use an antibacterial soap and scrub for at least 15 seconds. This helps to destroy germs and can prevent the spread of illnesses.
Recent studies from the United States have shown that foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12 can help boost the immune system. Vitamin B6 can be found in potatoes, spinach, turkey, beans and cereal grains. Meat, milk and fish are rich in vitamin B12.
Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing can slow down the spread of colds and flu. Make sure you wash your hands as soon as possible afterwards too.
These simple precautions can help keep your family and community healthy this flu season.