Influenza Vaccinations

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Influenza

It is that time of year again where Influenza vaccinations become available at GP practices and flu clinics open! This is no different for the Panaceum Group – with weekly nurse-led influenza clinics running.

 

Influenza or “the flu” is a highly contagious virus that is spread by droplets – sneezing and coughing or direct contact with these bodily fluids on surfaces. Three types of influenza exist – types A, B and C. Each year the flu vaccine is likely to change to provide coverage to the most dominant strains at the time.

 

The elderly, those with chronic conditions, the young and pregnant women are more likely to develop complications as a result of having the influenza virus and therefore are encouraged to have the influenza vaccination. It is estimated that roughly 3000 people die from the flu every year. Immunisation of people at risk from the flu is the most important and effective method we have to reduce the number of flu infections and deaths.

 

This year the National Immunisation Program will continue to fund influenza vaccines for those people over the age of 65 years, pregnant women, and those people with a chronic disease including cardiac, respiratory and neurological conditions, impaired immunity, diabetes and renal disease.

 

The Government are funding Quadravalent vaccines in 2016, meaning 4 strains of influenza will be covered rather than the previous 3 strains.

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09 – like virus
  • A/Hong Kong/4801 (H3N2) – like virus
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008 – like virus (not previously included in 2015 vaccines)
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 – like virusCauses of the Flu High fever, chills and sweatingHeadacheGeneral joint and muscular pains Cold symptoms only last for a few days, but the flu can last up to a week and in some cases longerJoint and muscle pains don’t occur with a cold.
  • Colds usually have a runny nose, whereas the flu is dry.
  • The flu usually causes a significantly higher temperature
  • How are the flu and the common cold different?
  • Non-productive cough that can become productive (coughing up sputum)
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Sore throat
  • Symptoms of the Flu
  • As mentioned above – it is highly contagious and is spread by coughing and sneezing or by contact with a surface covered in infected fluids. Family members or others who live in close contact to those affected by chronic medical conditions or those conditions where immunity is reduced – should also consider immunisation to minimise the spread to others.

For patients wishing to have their influenza vaccine at the Panaceum Group – Please Ring please ring Panaceum Medical (08) 9920 8111 or University Medical Practice (08) 9923 9999