This year’s flu season is expected to be more severe compared to the last two years. The South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC) at SMU answers your questions and calls on everybody to protect themselves from severe influenza by getting a flu shot.
Why are we likely to experience a more severe flu season compared to the previous two years?
Very little influenza was circulating during the previous two years, compared to pre-COVID-19 seasons. This is because the measures for limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, such as wearing of face masks, regular hand sanitising and social distancing, also limited the spread of other respiratory viruses, including influenza. Also, overseas travel was limited during the first two years of the pandemic, hence there was much less intercontinental influenza virus transmission compared to previous years.
What is the best way to protect myself from contracting flu?
The best defence against flu is to get vaccinated. Flu spreads easily from person-to-person through respiratory droplets and aerosols, especially when people are coughing and sneezing. In addition to getting vaccinated, to prevent transmitting flu one must avoid close contact with sick people, stay home when you are sick, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, wear your mask, clean hands regularly and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Why is it beneficial to get your flu shot?
Although flu is mostly mild, it can result in serious illness, hospitalisation and death. An average of 11,000 South Africans died annually from flu-related illness in pre-COVID-19 years.
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Newsflash Take your flu vaccine today at the SMU/DGMAH Vaccination site
Take your flu vaccine today at the SMU/DGMAH Vaccination site