Can you afford the flu?

FLU IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Last year it hit Australia hard with more than 68,000 laboratory confirmed cases and experts warn we could experience another bad season this year.

It doesn’t matter how fit or healthy you are – you’re still at risk of getting the flu and you can contract it anywhere – at home, in a queue or at work. Just one sneeze can spread it up to a metre.

Flu can also be spread for up to two days before any symptoms show – your workmates or your family might not even know they’re passing the virus on to you.

FLU’S IMPACT ON YOU

Having the flu can be much worse than having a cold. The most common effects of flu are body aches, headaches, fever, chills and fatigue. While fever may last only 3-5 days, a cough may last up to two weeks and your performance at work may suffer to the same degree as if you had consumed alcohol. Furthermore, flu’s effect on a family or workplace can stretch out as one person after another gets sick.

Your risk of complications from flu is higher if you are pregnant, aged 65 years and over, of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent or if you suffer from a chronic condition such as:

  • Cardiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Impaired immunity
  • Chronic neurological disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • Obesity

VACCINATION IS YOUR BEST DEFENCE AGAINST FLU

Annual vaccination remains the single most important means of protecting yourself and those around you against flu – and the good news is that you cannot get flu from the vaccine because it does not contain any live virus.

Research has shown that healthy working adults vaccinated against flu have nearly half the number of doctor visits and sick days due to upper respiratory illness compared to those who were unvaccinated.

BUSTING COMMON FLU MYTHS:

  • It doesn’t matter how fit and healthy you are – you can still catch the flu
  • Influenza is a serious disease resulting in more deaths than the annual road toll
  • Annual vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu infection
  • You cannot get flu from the vaccine as it contains no live virus

Supported by bioCSL (Australia) Pty Ltd. 63 Poplar Road, Parkville. VIC. 3052. ABN: 66 120 398 067. AUS/FVAX/0415/0069

Date of Preparation: April 2015

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