With the recent weather changes and temperature fluctuations, we should be more mindful of our health as we approach the year-end peak flu period.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can be mild or lead to severe illnesses like pneumonia. The more severe cases of flu infection can even result in hospitalization or death.
Influenza attacks the respiratory tract, causing inflammation of the mucous membranes. It is spread through air droplets, especially through an infected person when he or she coughs, sneezes or shares food with another non-infected person.
Signs and symptoms of flu
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
Though rare, a severe case of influenza can lead to pneumonia and other complications such as bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infection, and meningitis (inflammation of the lining that covers the brain).
There are specific high risk groups that may have complications which could lead to death. Older people aged 65 and above, young children, people with weakened immune system (for example, those with HIV), or those with heart and lung diseases are more likely to develop life-threatening complications from a flu attack.
How to prevent the flu
Seek medical attention promptly upon developing flu symptoms so that appropriate medication and treatment can be given. Strenuous physical activities like running and swimming should be avoided until complete recovery.
It is advisable to stay indoors and away from others so as to minimize the transmission of the infection to others. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccination each year, but good hygiene habits would also definitely decrease the chances of catching the flu.
Practise the following precautions and tips to keep the germs at bay:
- Cover your mouth when you cough
- Use disinfectants to help prevent the spread of germs
- Wash your hands often and in the proper way to reduce the germ count
- Wear a surgical mask if you are unwell
- When sharing food, use a serving spoon
- Boost your immunity by having a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle
Protect Yourself; Get Vaccinated
Check in anytime at the 24-Hour clinic at Concord International Hospital (CIH) to get vaccinated and stay flu-free for the new year!
CIH’s 24-hour clinic provides a personalized healthcare experience and offers medical services including vaccinations, acute medical consultation, screenings on chronic problems, check-ups, and radiological services.