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Why should I get the flu shot?

As we move into Autumn, flu season is almost truly upon us. More than ever, it’s important to protect yourself and your family from the influenza virus.

What is influenza?

Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter. Most people recover from the flu after a few days but for some people it can be fatal.

Symptoms of influenza include:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Tiredness

  • Muscle aches

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea (sometimes)

Severe cases can also result in breathing difficulty and pneumonia.

How does the flu spread?

Influenza is spread by virus particles in tiny droplets from the cough or sneeze of a sick person. When these droplets land on surfaces, the virus can then be picked up by someone touching the surface.

How can I protect myself from the flu?

There are three important steps you can take to protectt yourself and your family from the flu.

1. Get a flu shot

The best protection from influenza is to get a vaccination each year. Vaccination is available to anyone 6 months and older, as long as they don’t have a medical reason that prevents them from receiving it. By having a flu shot, you also help to protect those around you who are particularly vulnerable, as it slows the spread of the virus.

2. Wash your hands

Good hand hygiene is also important in the fight against diseases like influenza. Wash your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands regularly throughout the day, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If you can’t wash your hands with water and soap, an alcohol-based hand rub is a good alternative, however this should not replace regular hand washing.

3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick

It is important to stay home to prevent the spread with any illness, however it is particularly important with highly contagious illnesses such as the flu. By staying home, you will protect others who may be more vulnerable to the illness. This also applies to preventing the flu. By avoiding close contact with people who are sick, you will reduce the risk of catching influenza.

Galston Village Pharmacy is now taking online bookings for the flu shot! You can book your appointment here.

Book your flu shot online with Galston Village Pharmacy

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