Symptoms can be very similar to the common cold, such as fatigue, headaches, coughing, sneezing and runny noses. However, the flu can include more serious symptoms as well such as high fever, chills and muscle aches. Severe cases can even develop longer-term health problems such as chest and sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.
The flu virus is more prominent during the winter. The very young, elderly, and pregnant are more susceptible to infection and need to be especially careful in these months. Those with existing illness, Aboriginal or Torres Strait heritage or underlying medical conditions are also at increased risk.
The first step to prevention of the flu is hygiene – washing your hands is one of the most important preventative steps you can take against the flu as most cases are passed on through hand contact. Although washing your hands regularly can have a huge impact on the cases of infection, it isn’t a comprehensive defence against the flu virus. The best way to avoid infection is immunisation – the vaccines are updated regularly to protect against new viral strains each year. Immunisation readies your immune system for when it meets the flu virus, teaching your body how to recognise the virus and equipping it with the tools needed respond to the infection quickly. Your pharmacist will also be able to point you in the right direction for all your nasal decongestant, anti-fever and sore throat needs.
The flu virus regularly changes, so the immunisation which work against it need to be updated every year. The Flu vaccine is free* for the at-risk Australians mentioned above, under the National Immunisation Program.
UFS Pharmacies now offers immunisation in store, so talk to your local UFS Pharmacist to find out when you’re due for your next immunisation.
Available at our Hargreaves Street and View Street stores.