Take a flu shot at prevention
IT’S time for your annual flu shot.
Early indicators are that Perth is about to experience a particularly nasty winter flu season, so St John WA would like everyone to think about prevention and treatment options.
Cases of flu typically peak between July and September, however since the start of April St John has seen a surge of ambulance activity for flu-like illnesses being observed and this has also been seen in the eastern states.
One step that everyone should take is to protect themselves against influenza by having an annual flu vaccination.
Influenza, commonly known as the ‘flu’, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses.
Flu appears most frequently in autumn and winter and is the most common notifiable vaccine-preventable disease.
The flu virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.
The spread of the virus can happen rapidly, and commonly occurs when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The common cold and flu are both contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract.
Although the symptoms can be similar, flu is much worse. A cold may drag you down, but the flu can leave you lying in bed for days and in rare cases can even put you in hospital. It is recommended that all Australians over six months of age get a flu vaccine each year. It is important to get a flu shot every year as the circulating virus strains change.
Receiving the vaccine now allows protection from the flu to develop well ahead of the peak transmission period, which usually falls around July and August.
Flu vaccinations are available at St John Medical Joondalup, Cockburn, Cannington and Armadale.
To book your appointment, visit www.stjohnhealth.com.au/medical-services/book-your-gp-appointment. St John Head of General Practice Dr Tim Lipscombe said typical flu symptoms are fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue.
“If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor,” he said. “Medical assessment is particularly important in the young, old and the pregnant because they’re more at risk of developing serious flurelated complications.”
This flu season, St John also reminds people that it operates Urgent Care centres in Cockburn, Joondalup and Armadale.
Urgent Care centres can help with urgent but nonlife threatening injuries and illnesses.
If you think you have developed the flu and cannot get in to see your GP, St John Urgent Care can help. Urgent Care centres in Cockburn and Joondalup are open 8am - 10pm and Armadale 10am - 6pm.
There is no need to make an appointment and you will be bulk billed with a valid Medicare card. For more details about Urgent Care, visit www.stjohnhealth.com.au/ walk-in-urgent-care.