Influenza, or ‘the flu’, is a highly contagious virus spread by infected people through coughing, sneezing or by touching surfaces contaminated by these secretions. The influenza virus comes in many forms and is continually mutating, making it extremely easy to become infected.
Unlike the common cold, influenza can leave its sufferers with aching muscles and joints, fevers and chills in addition to a cough and headaches. Children may also experience diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. It can leave you feeling extremely lethargic and unable to get out of bed. Those who have suffered from influenza have described the symptoms akin to being hit by a truck.
While it is very easy to catch the flu, it is just as easy to protect yourself and others by following some of these flu smart tips!
Wash your hands regularly, particularly after sneezing and coughing. This will limit the flu virus from spreading. Using an alcohol based hand sanitiser is convenient when hand washing facilities are unavailable.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. This can prevent the spread of the virus into the environment for others to catch. Throw out the tissue immediately to avoid transmitting the virus to anyone else.
Do not return to work early. You may still be contagious and able to transmit the virus to others in your work place.
Get a yearly flu vaccination! This can be easy as making an appointment at your local pharmacy or doctor’s clinic. The vaccines are updated yearly in accordance with viral strains predicted to be in circulation throughout the current flu season.
The friendly pharmacists at the Ferny Hills and Patricks Road pharmacy are fully qualified pharmacist vaccinators. Appointments will be available from early April 2018.