Be ready for flu season
Preventative measures to protect you and your family
Influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’, is a highly contagious viral infection, caused by the A, B & C strains of the influenza virus. Rokeby GP recommends preparing yourself ahead of the next flu season by getting a flu vaccine.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Body aches
- Extreme fatigue
- An intense, dry cough
In Western Australia, the risk of contracting Influenza is heightened during the colder months (typically, April – October), with the most cases occurring during the month of August.
In 2017, Australia experienced the worst flu epidemic recorded in recent history. This prompted medical professionals to alter the flu vaccine in order to more aggressively combat new strains of the disease and reduce the severity of outbreak in the future. Furthermore, following 2017’s flu season, most Australian State Governments are now offering free vaccines for children aged six months to five years of age. This will be available in Western Australia from April this year.
What are the best preventative measures you can take?
At Rokeby GP, we encourage preparing for the flu season by engaging in preventative measures to minimise your risk of becoming unwell, or infecting others. There are a few basic and easy steps you can take to avoid spreading and getting the flu.
Practicing good hygiene is an effective method of avoiding contraction of the Flu and other illnesses. By keeping surfaces clean, washing your hands regularly, avoiding sharing utensils/cups, and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, you can reduce the spread of this infection.
Getting a Flu vaccination is considered the most effective way of preventing the contraction and spread of flu and is widely regarded as such by leaders in global health, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). Rokeby GP recommends getting an annual flu vaccine before the start of the Flu season in late autumn. This will help to protect you throughout the peak period.
The FluQuadri™ & FluQuadri Junior™ vaccines used by Rokeby GP are due to be in stock from mid-March 2018.
Why is an annual Flu vaccination recommended?
- Flu strains are constantly changing. Due to this, vaccines are routinely updated to ensure they offer the correct protection against the most common strains.
- Although a Flu vaccine will provide protection for a period of a few months, your immunity will decline over time – thus why an annual vaccine is recommended to provide optimum protection.
Identify your Risk:
Although even the fittest, healthiest people can get the flu, certain groups have a higher risk of contracting it or developing complications. These include:
- Pregnant women
- The elderly
- Indigenous or Torres Strait individuals of all ages
- People who travel regularly.
- People with existing health conditions such as heart or kidney disease or a weakened immune system. The flu can exacerbate existing medical conditions, or cause complications such as high fever and pneumonia.
A free Influenza vaccination is offered under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the below groups:
- Individuals aged 65-years and over
- All Indigenous or Torres Strait individuals between the ages of 6-months – 5-years and 15-years +.
- Pregnant women
- Individuals aged over 6-months old, who have medical conditions associated with developing severe Influenza complications. These include but are not limited to cardiac disease, chronic respiratory disease, Renal disease and Diabetes.
To mitigate any risk, Rokeby GP encourages everyone to get vaccinated.
Know yourself and your body:
It is important to consider whether getting vaccinated is the right choice for you. It is highly recommended that you consult your GP as well as inform yourself about the potential benefits and risks. Whilst the team at Rokeby GP endorses the flu shot as the best and safest way to protect yourself during peak influenza season, there is a small chance that recipients could experience mild side effects.
These could include:
- low-grade fever muscle aches
- allergic reaction
- Soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site.
The risk of experiencing any of these as a result are very small. These symptoms normally occur soon after receiving the vaccine, only last 1 to 2 days, and resolve on their own without requiring specific medical treatment. To keep you at ease, it is recommended that all patients remain in Rokeby GP’s waiting room for a period of 10-minutes after their vaccination for observation by our team of qualified nurses.
For more information about our vaccination service, click here.