Take a flu shot at pre­ven­tion

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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