Influenza is a virus that causes the infection commonly referred to as “The Flu”. There is an important distinction between a very bad cold (commonly referred to as “Man Flu”) and Influenza. Although many may sound like it, Man Flu has never claimed a life, however Influenza is so dangerous that it can, in certain circumstances, be fatal.
Signs of Influenza:
Influenza is characterised by a rapid onset of the below symptoms, a cold on the other hand has a slow build to a low grade malaise (feeling poorly), mild fever, runny nose and chest congestion.
- High fever
- Head and body aches
- May have a runny nose
Influenza is extremely contagious, this means it is very easily spread from one individual to another. Specifically it is transmitted by aerosols of saliva and secretions from the nose and chest that are jettisoned from coughing, also by the remnants of such aerosols that are left on the hands of the infected that can be shaken with another individual or on surfaces that they have touched.
If an otherwise healthy individual contracts Influenza it is likely that they will be very unwell for about three to four days and then make a full recovery. However if that individual infects their grandparent who is over 75, a pregnant woman or a newborn, an immunocompromised (such as someone being treated with chemotherapy or with HIV), a person with diabetes or respiratory disease to name but a few; the outcome might not be so favourable and could include time in hospital and even death.
Getting your flu shot at your local Greenleaf Pharmacy
Health Department of Western Australia recommends that every person gets vaccinated against Influenza. This will create what is called a “Herd immunity” whereby the more people that are vaccinated, the fewer cases of Influenza and thus less transmission between individuals.
Our vaccinating Greenleaf Pharmacists have undergone extra training to be able to safely administer the vaccines and have delivered over 1000 vaccinations over the last five years without a single adverse event.
Because the Influenza virus mutates so readily it is important that a new vaccination is administered every year, this will expose your immune system to the most likely strains we will encounter this coming influenza season.Influenza vaccination is very safe, the most common reaction is a dull ache in the arm into which the vaccine is administered.