Protecting yourself and your family this winter
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza A or B viruses. Influenza is much more serious than the common cold. It can lead to pneumonia and other complications, and can be fatal. For more information about the flu see Flu (seasonal) – including symptoms, treatment and prevention.
In 2017 in South Australia 124 people died of flu-related complications and over 28 000 suffered from confirmed cases of the illness.
People aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, young children (6 months to less than 5 years of age), people with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, and Aboriginal Australians (6 months of age and over) are particularly vulnerable. These groups are all able to access free influenza vaccinations as part of the 2019 Annual Influenza Vaccination Program.
In Australia, seasonal influenza of varying severity occurs every year, usually between June and September. Influenza vaccines reduce the risk of getting influenza, and reduce the severity of influenza. As immunity from vaccination decreases over time, and the influenza virus is constantly changing, the vaccines are altered each year to provide protection against currently circulating strains of the virus, therefore vaccination is required every year.
Protect yourself and your family – get vaccinated. Find information on the SA Health Flu Information page including where you can access the vaccine and groups eligible for a free vaccine.
Stay out of the infection radius
Keep at least one metre between you and people who have flu-like symptoms. If you have cold or flu symptoms, don’t be a hero –stay home and avoid exposing vulnerable people to illness.
Encourage your colleagues and friends to be safe this winter – download our Winter Wellness resources here.
Wash, Wipe, Cover
Did you know hands spread 80% of common infectious diseases?
The influenza virus, and other potentially harmful airborne illnesses that flourish in winter remain present on hard surfaces for 24 to 48 hours and tissues for only 15 minutes.
In winter, low air temperatures mean that droplets of the virus remain airborne for far longer. This makes it even more important than usual for you to ensure you wash, wipe and cover in winter.
Being struck down with a cold, the flu or gastroenteritis is unpleasant and disruptive.
You can reduce the risk of getting sick or passing infections on to others by following these simple rules:
- WASH your hands often
- WIPE down surfaces
- COVER your coughs and sneezes
More information at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/washwipecover
- If you have cold or flu symptoms, don’t be a hero – stay home and avoid exposing vulnerable people to illness.
- Maintain a balanced diet – get your recommended two and five serves of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Stay hydrated – drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day and ensure you increase this when exercising.
- Get at least ten minutes of physical activity every day.
- Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
- Encourage your colleagues and friends to be safe this winter – download our Winter Wellness resources here.