Vaccinate to fight off flu season

Pharmacy First’s Makenzi Cumming.
Pharmacy First’s Makenzi Cumming. Rebekah Polley

VACCINATE to decrease your risk of catching influenza Pharmacy First area manager Jess Burrey said.

Experts are warning that one in three people you meet this winter could give you the flu, especially with low vaccination rates increasing the chances of catching influenza.

A recent survey of 1120 people found that while 82% recognised the benefits of vaccination, almost three-quarters were unsure whether they would get vaccinated, which made it easier for the disease to spread.

Ms Burrey said it was “definitely” important to be vaccinated, under the guidance of your doctor.

“It is certainly worthwhile getting vaccinated but the vaccination only covers influenza and not a cold,” she said.

Ms Burrey explained influenza was a lot more severe than a cold and people often made the mistake of thinking that due to vaccination, they were immune to both influenza and colds.

“Influenza is the serious illness, it can be potentially fatal, it’s really important to know if you are in the risk categories,” she said.

Those in the risk categories include people with another illness like respiratory problems including asthma, anyone with blood pressure problems and diabetes and those over the age of 65.

The flu virus, Ms Burrey said, included fevers, achy joints and lethargy and those in the risk categories could experience further complications to existing health issues.

“We do push for people to be vaccinated especially coming into winter as influenza occurs a lot more often,” she said.

She added that the recent rainy weather wasn’t likely to cause an increase in influenza but as a result of the wet weather, it could be spread because everyone was in close proximity indoors.

“Take precautions, good hygiene and taking care of yourself prevents the chance of getting sick,” she said, and suggested using anti-bacterial hand wash, taking Olive Leaf Extract and Vitamin C.

“... drop in and see our staff.”

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