What is influenza?
Influenza (seasonal flu) is an acute viral infection which affects the respiratory tract & has systemic symptoms. Influenza is transmitted from one human to another via aerosol droplets that contain the virus. Influenza can exacerbate underlying conditions such as COPD, Cardiac disease and may cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). 80 – 90 % of deaths occur in elderly mainly from secondary bacterial pneumonia.
How can Stakelum’s Pharmacy help?
Children as young as 2 and up to 18 years old can be vaccinated with new nasal spray vaccine; fluenz tetra live attenuated vaccine. Private patients must pay a fee of just €25 in order to receive the vaccine.
Children and those in at risk group will receive vaccine for FREE
How Serious Is The Flu?
The Flu virus is an unpredictable virus. If you are healthy you will usually recover in 7 days. But Flu can be severe and can cause serious illness and death.
Complications of flu include bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and rarely acute encephalopathy (swelling of the brain).
Serious complications of flu are more likely if you have a chronic medical condition or if you are aged 65 years or older. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of flu complications.
In Ireland, between 200 and 500 people, mainly older people, die from flu each winter.
Every year, around the world, flu causes between 3 and 5 million cases of severe disease and up to 646, 000 deaths.
General aches and pains
Chest discomfort, cough
How Is The Flu Spread?
If you are carrying the virus, you can spread it by coughing or sneezing. This can happen from 1-2 days before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after symptoms develop.
Flu can survive on worktops and objects, especially in low temperatures and low humidity. You can get flu by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. The virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours and a soft surface for around 20 minutes.
Who Is Most At Risk Of The Flu?
Flu is more severe in people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, and anyone with a long-term medical condition. The HSE is urging people in at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine.
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- People (adults and children) with long-term medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, liver, kidney disease, cancer, chronic lung disease including COPD, or neurological diseases
- People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment including cancer patients
- Persons who are obese who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40
- People with Down syndrome
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions
- Healthcare workers
- Carers and household contacts of people at medical risk of the complications of flu
- People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
Flu vaccine is also recommended for children aged 2 to 12 years for the 2020/2021 influenza season.