The number of flu cases typically peak in August and September, but this year’s flu season appears to have begun earlier.
That’s why our nurses have been busy giving flu shots to our staff and community members.
There have been a number of recent news stories about this year’s flu season, many ending in tragedy. The influenza virus this year is not considered to be more deadly than viruses previous years, but these stories are a timely reminder to get a flu vaccination.
There are reports of flu strains the vaccine may not cover, but our doctors say it’s important that you still get vaccinated to strengthen protection against other strains and reduce the severity of any infection.
The flu spreads easily through families, workplaces, childcare centres and schools. But you could even catch it on the streets if an infected person coughs or sneezes, and you breathe it in, or by touching a contaminated surface with the flu virus on it, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
There are many things you can do to stop it spreading. Here’s some advice from one of our nurses.
Need more convincing? Here’s some things to keep in mind.
Flu can be really serious
Every year the flu affects thousands of Victorians. Over 3,500 avoidable deaths occur in Australia every year from complications of seasonal flu, including pneumonia.
The flu virus is especially dangerous for:
- Elderly people
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Very young children
- People with underlying medical conditions.
The flu shot won’t make you sick
You can’t get the flu from the flu shot. It’s that simple. The vaccine doesn’t contain any active virus. It’s also safe for pregnant women at any time in pregnancy.
Flu viruses change so the vaccine is updated most years
Depending on the circulating strains of the flu virus, the flu vaccine is updated to make sure it covers them. This means you need the updated shot each year, ideally before the flu season starts.
Remember, the peak season for flu starts in August, but this year it seems to be coming early.
So get an appointment soon.
Protect your community
Some people can’t get the flu shot, because of their health conditions – but they still need protecting from the flu. This includes people with compromised immune systems. If they get the flu, the consequences are much more serious. The more people who are immunised in the community, the lower their risk of getting sick.
We look forward to welcoming you to our one of our clinics soon, and keeping you healthy this flu season!