Flu season in Australia is typically between June and September. However, according to Health Direct, there has been an increased trend of reported cases of the flu in April 2019 when compared to April 2018.
While you can contract the flu at any stage of the year, it is more common to get the flu between April and October, with the most cases peaking between June and September.
During flu season in Australia, it's important to know the signs and symptoms, how to try to avoid the flu and, and if you do get sick, how to prevent spreading it.
About the flu
The flu, or influenza, is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing and the exchanging of germs.
Various viral strains cause the flu, such as influenza A, B and C, with A and B strains causing most of Australia's cases of flu.
Those with compromised immune systems - like people who have ongoing health conditions, the young and the elderly - are more susceptible to getting the flu. Generally, children under five and adults over 65 have the highest rates of hospitalisation due to the flu. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of flu complications.
In severe cases, the flu can cause death.
According to the Australian Government's Better Health Channel, they estimate that "flu contributes to over 3,000 deaths in Australia each year."
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of the flu include:
Muscle aches and pain
Loos of appetite
Chills or shivering
We advise that you see a doctor if your symptoms don't get better within ten days, or if you develop any of the following:
Unable to drink fluids
Confusion or dizziness
Call 000 if your symptoms are severe.
If you are in an at-risk group mentioned above, you should see the doctor immediately if you develop any flu symptoms.
Flu prevention with the flu shot
The most helpful way to prevent the flu is through yearly vaccination. It is best to have a flu shot from the middle of April through to May as the vaccination works best at helping prevent the flu for the following three to four months which are the height of Australian flu season. Please note, the vaccination may takes three weeks to kick in, so the earlier you get it, the better.
If you would like to book an appointment with us to receive your flu vaccination, please call us on 03 9741 1200 or schedule an appointment online.
For more flu prevention tips, please read our article how to avoid getting the flu.
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