Cold and flu season is here and people are getting ready to fight colds and flu head on with a number of weapons in their “medicine chest”.

If you think serious complications from the flu are only for the elderly, children and pregnant women to worry about – think again

Everyone is at risk of catching the flu virus – even healthy, young adults. While symptoms may vary from person to person, they may include the following

 

 

 Seasonal flu

Common cold 

What is it?

 

Influenza, or the flu, is a common and highly contagious, infectious respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat and lungs.
Influenza viruses can change rapidly.  That’s why there is a new flu shot made every year to protect against the circulating virus strains.

A cold is a mild infection of the nose and throat caused by a variety of viruses.
Although a cold might linger, the symptoms remain mild.

 

Symptoms 

 

 Almost Always

         Common

Sometimes 

Runny nose
Sneezing
Cough
Sore throat

Sudden onset of cough and fever

Fatigue
Muscle aches
Sore throat
Headache
Decreased appetite Runny nose 

Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea 

 

While most people infected with an influenza virus recover in a few weeks, complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections can occur and make chronic health problems such as asthma much worse.

The flu season has hit Australia early this year, with experts warning a quarter or more of the population could face an increased risk of severe complications from the virus this winter.

Doctor Hampson, Chairman of the Influenza Specialist Group, urged all Australians to consider receiving the flu vaccine this year and not to see cost as a barrier.

“The flu vaccine is free for high-risk groups such as those aged over 65, pregnant women, and people over 6 months of age with medical conditions like severe asthma, diabetes or other chronic diseases which put them at risk of influenza-related complications. It’s widely available for around 20 dollars for others, which is cheaper than cough medicine, pain relievers and time off work,” said Dr Hampson.

What can you do to prevent the flu?

You can play an active role in staying healthy and preventing the spread of the seasonal flu if you:

  1. Get your flu shot: You can protect yourself and others by getting an annual flu shot.
  2. Wash your hands frequently: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.
  3. Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand: If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.
  4. Keep your hands away from your face: In most cases, the flu virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.
  5. Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected: Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses which can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help prevent the spread of viruses.

Please consult your healthcare professional or contact Mail Order Pharmacy friendly staff for more information about flu vaccination or Cough, cold and flu products.