Summer has officially ended and the 2018/2019 flu season has begun. To prepare yourself and your family, here’s everything you need to know about flu this year.
This season’s flu
The flu virus has multiple strains, which means every season is different. Some strains are more severe than others. Last year, for example, a particularly nasty strain made the rounds (influenza A/H3NZ), making the 2017/2018 season shockingly deadly. This year, no one can say for certain how severe the season will be and unfortunately, a similar nasty A/H3NZ strain is predicted to be prevalent.
Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) publishes an overview of the predicted strains and advised vaccines. Find out the recommendations for the 2018/2019 season in the Northern Hemisphere here.
The best way to protect yourself against flu is vaccination, especially if you belong to a high risk group, such as pregnant women, individuals over 65 years old and children under 5.
Flu is spread very easily, particularly in crowded places like airports. For expats planning to travel home over the winter holiday season, the risk of catching flu may be increased. In such cases, vaccination is a good idea.
Every year there are a variety of flu vaccines available, including nasal spray vaccines for children. Different vaccines are more effective for different age groups so you will need to consult your doctor. The ideal period for vaccination is from October to the end of November, so now is the perfect time!
If you do not get vaccinated, there are other ways you can survive the flu season unscathed.
Stop spreading it
Try to stop flu spreading this year by following these three simple steps:
- Catch It: Sneeze or cough into a tissue
- Bin It: Throw used tissues in the bin as soon as possible
- Kill It: Wash your hands as soon as you can