It's flu season

THE Swine Flu outbreak has put the dreaded influenza virus at the top of the mind.

Locally, the common flu season is almost upon us and now is the time to prepare.

Local GP Ian Arthur of the Toormina Medical Centre says although healthy living may help give you the best chance against the flu this season, a vaccination is the best precaution.

“Unfortunately you can never quite know how bad a flu season is going to be each year. Compared to last year it could be strong or it could be weaker,” he said.

“I strongly recommend people get a flu vaccination.”

He said anyone more than 65-years-old should be vaccinated, as well as those working in the health-care system and with children.

“All people over 65 should get vaccinated, and along with it, have a pneumonia booster. As should people with chronic lung conditions, diabetes or chronic illnesses.”

“I should point out, too, that people who smoke are more likely to get the flu and it's more likely to last longer.”

The flu vaccination is free for anyone over the age of 65, and is available to others by prescription. Ask your GP for assistance.

Help avoid the flu:
  • Eat well (fresh fruits, vegetables etc)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stay rested and manage stress
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Wash your hands regularly

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