Australian flu It could be back in the UK this winter and experts are advising on the importance of getting this year's flu vaccine. Australian flu last swept the UK in 2017, and the strain was a subtype of influenza A called H3N2. Australian flu symptoms have been described as similar to normal flu but worse. The strain struck Australia during the winter earlier this year, and more than 200,000 people were affected.
Although the flu vaccine is the best form of protection against the virus, there is a chance that the vaccine will not protect against the new strain.
Dr. Andrew Thornber, Now Patient's medical director, explained: “Australian flu can affect anyone and the flu vaccine may not protect against this new strain because viruses often change between when the virus is handled and when the virus is handled. infection occurs (this is always the case). regardless of influenza subtype and vaccine administered).
“Those most likely to get this disease (and suffer a more serious illness) are the elderly or immunocompromised (long-term steroids, those who use immunological modifying drugs or chemotherapy, for example), those with long-term health problems. , children and pregnant women. ladies."
It is still advisable for people to get the flu shot. The vaccine is routinely provided free of charge in the NHS to these "at-risk" groups of people.
People who fall into this category include:
- Adults over 65 years
- People with certain medical conditions (including children in risk groups from 6 months of age)
- Pregnant women
- Children 2 and 3 years old on August 31, 2019
- Children at the elementary school
- Health or social care workers
For people who do not fall into any of these groups, the vaccine can be purchased for a small cost in GP surgeries, as well as in some pharmacies and supermarkets.
Influenza can often be treated without a doctor, but people should start to feel better in about a week.
Symptoms of normal and Australian influenza to be observed are listed by the NHS:
- Sudden fever – temperature 38 ° C or above
- A sore body
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- A headache
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea or belly ache
- Feeling sick and being sick
Flu is usually treated with rest and sleep, keeping warm, taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower the temperature and treating aches and pains, and drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
A pharmacist can also advise you better about the best treatment to use, but GPs do not recommend antibiotics because it does not relieve symptoms or speed recovery.
If you or your child has sudden chest pain, difficulty breathing or coughing up blood, call 999 or go to A&E.
You can pay for and reserve the vaccine at the following pharmacies and supermarkets. Most also offer the free NHS jab.
The vaccine at Asda Pharmacy costs £ 7 and a reservation is now available.
Superdrug is providing a walk-in vaccination service. The cost of the jab is £ 9.99.
Starting in October, the vaccines will be available at select Tesco Pharmacy stores in England and Wales.
You can make an appointment or receive it immediately after completing a short questionnaire.
It takes 15 minutes, during which the pharmacist explains the process and answers all questions and costs only £ 10.
The Lloyds flu vaccine costs just £ 11.50. Your local pharmacist's health team can tell you what is right for you.
The jab costs £ 12.99. You can make an appointment in store or online.
Appointments for children ages 11-15 can only be booked at select stores.