How to prepare for the flu season
With autumn upon us it means winter is fast approaching - shorter days, cold weather and unfortunately, the flu season.
The flu viruses that circulate can change from year to year. Completely new flu viruses can emerge and cause global pandemics – like the influenza (H1N1) pandemic of 2009.
The official flu season runs from May to September, and although anyone can get the flu, it doesn’t mean you will definitely get it every year. People who are fit and well are better able to ward off the flu. If you eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep, your body will be in good shape to fight back against any invading flu virus.
So, how do you get the flu? The flu is a viral infection passed from person to person via infected droplets commonly spread by sneezing and coughing.
Symptoms of flu include:
Flu symptoms are severe and are not to be confused with cold symptoms – with the flu you often don’t have the energy to get out of bed.
Some people are more at risk of getting the flu than others. The Ministry of Health has identified that the following groups are at higher risk of developing complications from flu viruses and are therefore eligible for a free flu vaccine. They include those who:
If you are unlucky enough to get the flu, you should stop the spread of flu germs by:
This may all sound like doom and gloom, but flu prevention is better than cure. Help prevent flu by:
And remember that flu can cause serious complications, like pneumonia, which can be deadly. So look after your health – it is your most cherished possession.