Flu or Influenza is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It is often called a respiratory disease, but it affects the whole body. The infection begins suddenly, may lead to symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks and may keep you in bed for 3 to 4 days.
Is it a Flu or Common cold?
Flu and common cold have similar symptoms but it is far more dangerous than a common cold. If you have a high fever (39-40°C), headache, severe cough, extreme fatigue, aches and pain, you may have flu. Unlike a common cold, flu causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.
How can I catch Flu?
Flu is very contagious. You can catch it from the air; from someone who is sneezing or coughing; from close contact with someone who has flu or from touching contaminated objects and transferring germs to the respiratory system.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can catch Flu. Being fit and healthy does not stop you from getting it. You can also unknowingly infect others, as it takes 1-4 days for symptoms to appear.
Some people are at an increased risk of developing life threatening complications if they contact flu, e.g. the elderly, adults and children who have diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart, lung and kidney disease.
Is it possible to prevent Flu?
Yes, it is possible to prevent flu through vaccination. The e of flu vaccines has been clinically proven and is recommended that flu vaccination should be done during the flu season. The vaccine can be given to children as young as 6 months.
Is the Flu vaccine safe?
The vaccine will not give you Flu. It contains noninfectious killed viruses, but merely alerts the body to the threat of the virus.
Flu vaccines are well tolerated and safe. They most frequently associated reaction is mild soreness at the injection site that can last for 24 -48 hours.
Why should we get a flu shot every year?
The Flu viruses are constantly changing. Generally, new influenza virus strains circulate every flu season, so each year, before a flu season, the most active viruses are identified by WHO and included in a new vaccine formula in order to offer the best protection.