Influenza (flu) is a common infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract and can be very contagious.1,2 The flu is caused by a virus that can affect people of all ages and normally causes fever, dry cough, body aches, fatigue and lethargy.2 Some people may also experience chills, sore throat, runny nose and loss of appetite.2 Symptoms typically appear quickly and most people will have symptoms resolve after approximately 8 days but they can linger for several weeks.2
The flu can cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people that may require hospitalisation and it can also cause death. Influenza is the most common vaccine-preventable disease in Australia1 so it’s important to offer this service to your community to help reduce the burden of disease.
Immunisation against the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over1 and is the best way to protect yourself from the flu, and its complications. Some populations are at higher risk of complications for the flu and should be encouraged to receive it every year.
- Anyone aged 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- People 6 months and over with heart disease, chronic lung disease, impaired immunity, diabetes, and other select conditions2
While not at higher risk, those who live and work in close contact with people with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are recommended to receive the vaccine to protect those around them.
These include among others:
- Health care workers and workers providing essential services
- Nursing home staff
- Carers of homeless people
- People who work with children1
The flu vaccine changes each year to match the most common strains of virus circulating that year3 so it’s important to receive the vaccine annually.
For more information and to book your flu vaccination, click here.
- Influenza (flu). The Australian Immunisation Handbook. https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/contents/vaccine-preventablediseases/influenza-flu. Published May 5, 2022. Accessed January 11, 2023.
- Department of Health & Human Services. Flu (influenza). Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/flu-influenza. Published April 16, 2020. Accessed January 10, 2023.
- Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Influenza (flu) vaccine. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. https://www.health.gov.au/topics/immunisation/vaccines/influenza-flu-vaccine. Published November 15, 2022.Accessed January 11, 2023.
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