What can I do to avoid catching a cold or getting the flu this season?
The best approach is a holistic one. This includes eating a healthy diet, rich in wholegrains and containing five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day, and doing some regular physical activity. Many well-known supplements can support the immune system, and you can discuss these with your TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist. Zinc and echinacea, for example, may help to support your immunity, reduce the severity and duration of colds, and improve your overall wellbeing and vitality.
Washing your hands regularly is also vital. The viruses responsible for colds and the flu can live on surfaces for hours and spread when people touch the infected surface. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water at regular intervals throughout the day, and particularly before you eat, is a simple, effective way to help avoid being infected with, and spreading, these viruses. If you prefer using a hand sanitiser, choose one that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol and rub it all over the surface of your hands until they’re dry.
And, remember, getting the flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu and the serious complications it can cause.
Is the flu vaccination recommended for everyone or specific groups of people?
There are some people who would particularly benefit from having the flu vaccination, including those aged over 65, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15 years and over, and people, such as the parents of young children and healthcare professionals, who could transmit influenza to high-risk populations if they were to catch it. But the flu vaccination is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce their likelihood of becoming ill with influenza, an illness that’s much more severe than the common cold, can last up to 10 days and, in some cases, can be followed by a secondary illness such as pneumonia.
TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacies provide an extremely convenient option for customers wanting to get a flu vaccination, with long opening hours and flexible vaccination times. This year, the flu vaccination being administered by TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacists is a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four strains of influenza virus. You can book a flu vaccination appointment online at terrywhitechemmart.com.au or by visiting your nearest pharmacy.
What’s the best plan of attack if I do get sick?
The most important thing is to make sure you rest, keep your fluids up and eat well. There are also medications and products that can help to manage your symptoms. It’s important to speak to your pharmacist about which products are most appropriate so you avoid doubling doses if you’re taking multiple products. And, if you are sick, stay home as much as possible and cough or sneeze into your inner elbow if you don’t have a tissue, to avoid infecting others. Compared with your hands, your inner elbow is much less likely to touch another surface, so you are less likely to transmit your virus. If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately.