Preparing for Flu Season in Australia

Winter is comingand that means flu season is about to arrive on our coasts. If you’re like most Australians, you might be more focused on bundling up against the upcoming cold; however, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shots in preparation for those long winter months.

Flu shots offer serious protection against a potentially deadly illness, especially in young children and the elderly. It’s estimated that influenza causes about 3,500 deaths, yet only 42 percent of “at risk” groups are vaccinated annually. This is alarming, considering that the flu shot is the single greatest defense against the influenza virus.

Even if you’re not in the “at risk” group of children and elderly, getting a flu shot can be critical for staying happy and healthy this winter. It’s estimated that over 10 percent of workplace absenteeism is associated with the flu; additionally, about 18,000 percent of hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations are made each year because of the flu.

That’s a lot of time lost to GP appointments and sick days!

To prepare for the flu season in Australia this year, consider using the following techniques:

• Wash your hands: You know that hand washing is great for preventing germs – and that rule still applies during flu season. Teach your children to wash their hands throughout the day to stop flu germs from spreading.

• Disinfect heavily touched items: Doorknobs, handles, kitchen tables, counters, and other popular areas should be disinfected on a regular basis.

• Focus on a healthy diet: Your immune system needs vitamins and minerals to properly function – give it what it needs by eating a healthy diet filled with veggies, greens, and fruits.

• Get some sleep: Feeling tired and run down makes you especially susceptible to the influenza virus. Get your seven to eight hours per night to give your body the energy it needs to fight off the flu.

• Get your flu shot: The flu shot is the single best line of defense against the flu this winter season. Make sure you get it as soon as those temperatures start dropping!

At Wellcentre Medical Centre in Kingston, we do more than specialize in skin cancer and melanoma detection; we also provide GP services, including administration of the new quadriple vaccine ($15). Don’t let influenza invade your home this upcoming winter – schedule a consultation with a GP at Wellcare Medical Centre in Kingston today.