Australia is in the midst of its worst flu season with hundreds of fatalities so far. Join me as I give you my top tips on influenza, how to survive it and how we test for it.
Influenza is a highly contagious disease that can have detrimental effects on our health. We can all be affected, there are certain groups of people however that may be more affected than others. These are those over the age of 65, children under 5, pregnant ladies or those with chronic medical conditions.
The typical symptoms of influenza include: fever, sore throat, dry cough, headache, muscle or joint aches and tiredness.
Symptoms will usually go away by themselves within a week with simple rest, hydration and TLC. However, there are medications which can reduce the duration of symptoms, these need to be taken soon after diagnosis otherwise they do not work.
There are many ways you can protect yourself from influenza this winter period. 2019 has seen an unprecedented amount of people having their flu vaccine which is great. Other ways of protecting yourself include washing your hands regularly, throwing away used tissues and staying away from people who have flu-like illnesses. To keep your immune system fighting strong be sure to keep up your fruit and vegetables, vitamin C which is found in strawberries, oranges and kiwi fruit is also beneficial.
Remember if your symptoms aren’t settling or you feel they are getting worse be sure to see your medical doctor for help and advice.
Thanks for watching, I hope you’ve found this video useful. As always if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to drop me a line below.
So far this year rates of flu virus have almost doubled from what they were during the same time last year.
Most people will recover from the flu, however young children and older adults may be seriously affected. Symptoms can include feeling shivery with fever 🤒, headache 🤕, muscle aches, sore throat, sneezing 🤧, tiredness and a dry cough. If you are concerned about these symptoms or they worsen it is important to seek medical advice immediately.
There are some easy steps to avoid getting the flu, from the flu vaccination, to covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, washing your hands regularly particularly after being in communal areas like the toilet, cleaning surfaces regularly at home and avoiding close contact with others when you’re not feeling well.
So with the school holidays about to kick off are you protected from the flu? 😷
But what actually is Gastroenteritis aka “Gastro”? Gastro is a short-term illness triggered by infection and inflammation of the digestive system. The main symptoms include, tummy cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and feeling generally unwell🤕
Infectious gastroenteritis is usually caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. Infection happens when the bacteria, virus or parasite is ingested, either by eating or drinking. So it is really important that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you go to the toilet, before preparing food and keep your kitchen surfaces clean. If you have been in contact with someone with similar symptoms always be sure to wash your hands to reduce transmission.
If you’ve got gastro, it usually settles by itself after 5-7 days, it’s vital during this time that you keep up your fluids and take oral rehydration therapy from the chemist. You may not feel like eating but when your appetite slowly comes back, start with plain food such as toast.
If you’re not sure whether you have gastro or need further help or advice, pop by and see me in clinic.
The Government funded Influenza vaccine is now in stock!
Last year was a particularly bad year for influenza with the highest levels of activity since 2009. The ‘Aussie flu’ strain was mutated meaning the vaccine was less effective than hoped for.
This year the vaccine has changed for the better, covering more strains of the flu virus. Now children from the ages of 6 months to under 5 years are being offered the flu vaccine for free as they are thought to be ‘super-spreaders’ in the community.
Along with children, the government also provide free vaccines for other medical groups; - All individuals from 6 months of age with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- All aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people from 15 years and over
- All individuals 65 years and older
Adults aged 65 and over will be offered a higher dose of the flu vaccination as they are most at risk of developing complications from flu.
Please note that the vaccine does not contain live flu virus and cannot cause flu.
However, some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms for up to 48 hours as their immune system responds to the vaccine. While some people may experience mild side effects such as pain, swelling and redness at the injection site, these usually resolve quickly.
Immediate allergic reactions are rare. People who are allergic to egg are no longer excluded from flu vaccines. If you experience any concerning symptoms, please seek medical help.
If you are interested in having your flu vaccine or would like to find out if you’re eligible for the government funded vaccine pop by and see me in clinic.
Cervical Screening Update 2017 | Women’s Health Series
In this episode of Dr Nora, I take you through the changes occurring to Cervical Screening from December 2017 as discussed at a recent Women’s Health Update Event I attended at the Gold Coast Private Hospital.
Currently Australia’s Medicare provides cervical cancer screening via a Pap Smear test for women aged between 18-69, every 2 years, once they have become sexually active.
From December 2017, Medicare will be moving towards a more internationally recognised liquid-based cytology approach. The test will not feel any different, but will reduce the number of inadequate tests and the wait time for results.
As these new tests are more efficient, women will now be screened from the ages of 25-74, every 5 years.
In the meantime please note that it is very important for women to continue to participate in the current two yearly Pap test program to ensure they are not at risk of developing cervical cancer.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment, or book an appointment for a consultation.