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The dreaded winter ‘f word’…FLU

2019 flu vaccines are now available at Premier Health Partners. 

There has been a lot of contention already this year about whether or not the flu vaccine is necessary, and more specifically, when is the best time to have it. So far in 2019 we have seen over twice as many cases of the flu already compared to this same time last year, but the concern among health professionals is that if taken too early, the flu vaccine may not last long enough to protect during the peak season. We are now past this point though, and it is recommended that whoever is able, get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. Anyone can be affected by the flu, which is why it is so important for everyone to protect themselves against it to avoid it spreading through the community; getting the flu vaccine is a great first step, a few others are mentioned below.

Influenza (the flu) isn’t the same as the common cold; it is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications. The most common and noticeable symptoms of the flu are a high fever (38 degrees or above, often with a sudden onset), a dry cough, body aches (especially in the head, lower back, and legs), and feeling extremely weak and tired.

Because of the highly contagious nature of the flu, most adults can still infect others up to seven days after becoming sick. The best way to avoid spreading the flu is to stay at home while you are unwell. It’s important that you – and anyone else in your household who may be affected – avoid going to work or school, or spending time in busy public places or with people who are more vulnerable (e.g. the elderly or pregnant women). Other, more common sense, tips to avoid the spread of the flu include washing your hands very regularly and coughing or sneezing into your elbow (in the absence of a tissue) rather than into your hands.

If you do find yourself with the flu, the best thing you can do is to rest at home and ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids. If you need to see your doctor to help with flu symptoms, make sure to call your clinic first so that they can ensure that there aren’t any vulnerable or at-risk people in the space with you when you have your appointment.

We will be hosting a number of Flu Clinics at Premier Health Partners throughout early May. If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please call us on 03 9329 7077.

Private flu vaccines cost $25 if you attend one of our Flu Vaccine Clinics and have a valid Medicare card. Government-funded flu vaccines are also available for those that are eligible.

Some of this information has been provided by the Victorian State Government Department of Health and Human Services.

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