Asquith Doctors is now providing vaccinations for the flu. Call us on (02) 9477 4400 to book your appointment.
An annual cold/flu (Influenza) vaccine will be your best way of protecting yourself against the flu this Winter. Flu shots are free for if you are:
- people aged 65 years and over
- pregnant women
- children aged 6 months to under 5 years old
- Aboriginal people
- medically at risk groups.
What is influenza?
Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is more serious than a common cold. In 2017 more than 650 people died in NSW from influenza related complications. By getting a flu shot you’re protecting yourself and the community from serious illness.
There are three main types of influenza virus that cause infection in humans – types A, B and C – and many sub-types or strains. Influenza can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter.
Influenza is a vaccine-preventable illness but a new vaccine needs to be given each year because influenza viruses change (mutate) constantly. A new influenza vaccine is prepared each year to best match the strains predicted for the coming influenza season.
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Why is getting vaccinated important?
Vaccination prevents people from becoming infected with diseases. This means there is less disease circulating in the community which not only protects you, but can help protect those around you who are not able to be vaccinated, such as infants under 6 months of age.
Every year a new seasonal flu vaccine is developed. It protects against the four types of flu that are expected to be the most common that flu season (winter). The seasonal flu vaccine is now available in Australia.
NSW has had unusually high influenza activity over the summer and it has remained high in March, with over 6400 cases notified so far this year. If you are in the Asquith area book your vaccination with us.
Who is the most at risk?
The Flu can be life threatening for a pregnant women and their baby. Flu shots are free for all pregnant women.
A flu shot is the best way to protect you and your baby against flu and will also protect the baby after birth. Flu shots can be taken at any stage of pregnancy. If you develop flu like symptoms it is best to see a doctor.
It is recommended everyone who cares for your baby should get a flu shot too, including other household members and relatives.
The vaccine is safe for both you and your baby when given during pregnancy. There is no evidence of an increased risk of problems for mothers or their babies when the mother is given a flu shot during pregnancy. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) strongly recommends influenza vaccination for pregnant women to protect both the mother and the baby.
Book an appointment on (02) 9477 4400 to get your vaccination in Asquith.
The best way to keep your family healthy is to get a flu shot.
Flu can spread quickly when large numbers of people are in close contact, such as at school, work, sport or social events so keep sick children away from school and other activities.
If you are sick with flu, stay at home and avoid close contact with other people to prevent them from also becoming sick.
Medically at Risk
People with the following conditions are at higher risk of severe flu:
- cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
- chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
- other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
- chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
- impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use.
- Aboriginal people are more likely to get very sick from flu and need treatment in hospital.
- The best way to keep your family healthy is to get a flu shot.
- The flu shot is free for all Aboriginal people aged 6 months and over.
- Flu shots are also important for pregnant women and can help protect the baby for the first few months of life.
- Let your doctor or nurse know you identify as an Aboriginal person when you ask about your free flu shot.
Flu can spread quickly when large numbers of people are in close contact, such as at school, university, sport and social events.
How can I prevent getting influenza?
- Have good hand hygiene
- Use tissues
- Wash eating utensils and don’t share with sick individuals
- Make sure towels and clothes are washed and don’t share with sick individuals
- Clean the house, doorknobs, taps and bathroom regularly
What are the symptoms of the flu?
People with influenza typically experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or blocked nose
- Muscle, joint pain, fatigue, headaches
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
These symptoms may only last for a week or two. However you should seek medical advice if these symptoms worsen or you experience
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- persistent vomiting.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.