Avoiding Influenza During Winter
Winter is also known as the Cold or Flu Season. We caught up with Dr Kevin Cheng from Osana, a Preventative Medical Clinic, to learn what and what not to do during Flu Season.
Understanding Colds & Flu - Common cold symptoms include a cough, sore throat and runny nose whilst influenza can also cause fever, chills, muscles aches and vomiting. Both are spread by airborne droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, often contracted when they land on surfaces.
Those affected are infectious from the day before symptoms show, and thereafter for up to 7 days in adults and 10 days in kids.
Protect Yourself & Others - Flu strains change every year so getting an annual vaccination is an important first step, and applies to everyone in the community.
The best time to get the flu vaccination is in April or early May, making sure there is at least a 2-week separation period from getting your Covid vaccination.
If you Catch a Cold or the Flu - Taking Vitamin C may reduce the duration of colds but doesn’t stop you from catching one. Zinc tablets can help reduce the duration. It's also important to get lots of rest and keep up with your fluids.
Take steps to protect those around you by washing or sanitising hands regularly and sneezing or coughing into an elbow, as well as wearing a mask. Encourage sick family and friends to wait to visit until they are feeling better, and vice versa. Be sure to regularly clean high contact areas often, such as light switches, door knobs, mobile phone and keyboards.
If your symptoms get worse see your General Practitioner, especially if they last longer than 1 week, or if you are producing phlegm or have a prolonged fever. Red flags to seek medical attention early include shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain, confusion, dizziness or ongoing vomiting.
Flu Myths - The Flu vaccine does not cause the flu because it is an inactivated (or dead) version of the flu virus. Cold weather and winter does not cause the flu, although the flu
season also corresponds with when the flu virus is most prevalent.
It's also important to note that antibiotics will not help with the cold or flu as these are viruses – very occasionally people can have secondary bacterial infections where antibiotics might be useful. Sometimes, if the flu is diagnosed, an anti-viral medication is used for those with medical risks or deficient immune systems.
Dr Kevin Cheng - Osana - Preventative Medical Clinic
Osana preventative medical clinics improve your health, wellbeing and help you age well. Under our unique membership model, you can access longer appointments with a range of health professionals, including dedicated Health Assistants, Dietitians, Health & Exercise Coaches and Psychologists.
FB: @osana.care A: 124 Queen Street Woollahra 2010 P: 13 93 55