With this winter tipped to be a high-risk season for influenza, members of the Bass Coast community are urged to be vaccinated for influenza as soon as possible.
Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection.
Influenza viruses usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and people may spread the virus before they know they are infected.
According to the federal Department of Health, this year we are all more vulnerable to influenza due to lower recent exposure to the virus and lower uptake of influenza vaccines.
With international borders reopening, it’s likely Australia will experience a high rate of influenza in 2022 and the risk of serious illness is compounded by the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community.
Symptoms of influenza infection usually come on suddenly and may include: fever (high temperature), cough, muscle or body aches, fatigue, headaches, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose.
Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said influenza infection is more serious in pregnant women, babies, older people, and people with chronic health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney diseases, or weakened immune systems.
“However, even fit and healthy people, especially children, can get very sick from influenza. Influenza can cause a serious infection in the lungs and can make chronic health conditions worse,” she said.
“Some people can even die from influenza and its complications, so that’s why it’s important that people get their flu vaccination as soon as possible to give themselves the best protection this flu season.”
Flu vaccinations are available from GPs and pharmacies. Contact your GP clinic or pharmacy to see if they offer the vaccination and book in for yours today.
Members of the public can also reduce their risk of getting or spreading influenza by washing their hands regularly, covering their mouth when coughing, sneezing into disposable tissues, and cleaning or disposing of contaminated objects.