Tips To Avoid Catching Flu In Cork This Winter 2018
As we move into the New Year 2018, the country is bracing itself for what the Irish Mirror describes as the ‘worst flu season in 50 years’. The Evening Echo also reports that visiting restrictions are in place at Cork University Hospital due to the number of patients arriving with symptoms of flu. With experts warning that Ireland could be facing the worst flu outbreak since 1964 with the arrival of ‘Ausie flu’, we thought it would be useful to advise on steps you can take to treat and protect yourself from catching the flu this winter.
Anyone showing flu like symptoms is advised to phone their GP in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at CUH.
The HSE are also warning people to take precautions to prevent the spread of flu over the coming days and weeks.
Health Minister Simon Harris said: “The advice from doctors is that most people who get the flu, unless they are in at risk group, can get better themselves at home.
The HSE advises that anyone who gets flu should:
- Stay at home
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Use over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol to ease symptoms.
Director of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dr Kevin Kelleher, has advised via the Independent.ie that it’s not too late for people to get a vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist. The HSE is also advising that vulnerable groups in particular should get a vaccine.
High-risk groups designated by the HSE who should get a vaccine are:
- People aged 65 years or over
- Anyone with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up, such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and diabetes. This includes children with chronic illness
- Anyone with lower immunity due to disease or treatment and all cancer patients
- All pregnant women. The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy
- Those with morbid obesity – with Body Mass Index over 40
- Residents of nursing homes, old people’s homes and other long stay facilities
- Health care workers and carer’s of people in risk groups
People in ‘at risk’ groups can get the flu vaccine itself free of charge (people without medical or GP visit cards may be charged an administration fee).
The symptoms of most strains of flu are similar, including the ‘Aussie flu’, H3N2, which is prevalent this winter 2018. However, some strains can be more severe and contagious than others. The symptoms of flu can be similar to cold but are usually more severe.
Symptoms can include:
- Sudden fever
- Dry chesty cough
- Sore throat
- Trouble sleeping
Flu tends to come on in a few hours and can lead to more serious conditions including pneumonia.
Contact us at Irwin’s Pharmacy Cork for advice about treatments and vaccines for flu this winter.