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Preparing for the 2018 Flu Season

Monday, April 30th, 2018

During Autumn people are preparing for the flu season which peaks between June to September.

What is the Flu?

The flu is a virus and has various symptoms that may begin in the nose or throat and can spread rapidly to other areas of the body. The onset of symptoms can begin quickly such as an upset stomach, headaches, fever and muscle aches. The duration of the symptoms can vary and can last for around a week or longer in some cases. A severe case of the flu can lead to hospitalisation, especially with children and the elderly.

Should you be vaccinated against the flu?

It is recommended that a flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent yourself from getting the virus. The common cold changes in symptoms and severity each year and new and updated vaccines are available now to give you better protection for up to four months past the date of the vaccination.

Before you get vaccinated, notify your doctor about the age of your children, if you are pregnant or over the age of 65. People with existing conditions such as asthma, lung conditions, diabetes may be eligible for free vaccinations. For the complete list see the link below.

Remember that vaccines are age-specific so inform your doctor about the age of those receiving the vaccine so the correct one is administered.

Vaccine Safety

This may not happen in all cases of vaccination, but common side effects may occur a couple of days after being vaccinated. It may include redness, soreness, tiredness, muscle ache or a low fever. the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and the babies during the stages of pregnancy.

If you are concerned about any changes you experience or symptoms that may come on after the vaccination, contact your GP or call the Adverse Medicines Events Line on 1300 134 237

You can reduce your risk of spreading the flu by:

Washing your hands frequently either with soap or an alcohol-based hand wash
Using tissues and disposing of them immediately
Coughing or sneezing into your elbow
Staying away from colleagues if you are sick by being at home

The flu vaccination is available from your GP or health clinic.

To find out more about flu and the National Immunisation Program:

call the National Immunisation Hotline: 1800 671 811

or visit the Department of Health’s new immunisation website at https://beta.health.gov.au/topics/immunisation