Usually called the flu, is caused by a virus and spreads from person to person through the air by coughing, sneezing or talking, and by touching a person’s hands, a surface or object.
How does it infect?
The flu virus infects your breathing through the nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. It differs from a cold as the symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop quickly and last about a week. You can have a very mild to a severe flu, and at times you can develop complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis which require a hospital visit. Sometimes these complications can lead to death.
If you have other medical conditions such as diabetes etc, it can make them worse. There is a need to get vaccinated every year because the viruses circulating in the community are always changing and immunity from the vaccine does not last a long time. It is especially important that people at risk get a flu shot each year.
4 Things You Might Not Know About Getting The Flu Shot
- There is no live virus in the flu shot.
- What’s in the vaccine changes every year.
- The flu shot is safe for pregnant women at all stages of their pregnancy.
- CSL Fluvax is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.
Who should get vaccinated?
The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone from 6 months of age who wants to be protected against the flu. Free flu vaccine is available for the following people:
- Anyone aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 15 years of age
- Pregnant women
- Anyone over 6 months of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:
- heart disease
- severe asthma
- chronic lung condition
- chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year
- diseases of the nervous system
- impaired immunity
- Children aged 6 months to 10 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy
The runny nose, headache, sore throat or “stuffy” feeling you get during a common cold is caused by one of many viruses – often a rhinovirus – and they can infect your nose, throat, sinuses and airways. The symptoms are usually a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and a cough. You might also have a fever, mild aching muscles and general tiredness. These symptoms usually last for less than a week.
Steps to prevent the spread?
There are steps you can take when you have a cold or flu, to help prevent spreading illness:
- Try to stay away from other people to prevent the virus from spreading
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands
- Throw away tissues as soon as you have used them and wash your hands
- Stay home from work to prevent spreading it to others and keep children home from school
For more information visit Health Insite