It’s flu season – here’s how to prepare
Providing accessible and confidential medical services for all current students and staff.
Winter is here and that means it’s flu season. We want to make sure that you protect yourself and those around you from getting sick. Here’s how you should prepare.
Get a flu shot – now or later on
- While we recommend getting a flu shot, the stock is now low at Deakin Medical Centre and many other practices, GPs and pharmacies due to unprecedented demand. This is a good thing – many more people have elected to get a flu shot this year than before.
- The Medical Centre is therefore rationing their stock based on patient need.
- If it is urgent that you receive a flu shot – if you are pregnant, if you have a medical condition that increases the risk of influenza disease complications such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes, if you are an Aboriginal Australian, if you are over 65, or if you need one for your university course – call the Medical Centre now.
- If you haven’t received a flu shot and you want to receive one, you will have to wait until stock is replenished, or you can try contacting your local GP.
Stop the spread of flu
- Practising good hand hygiene is essential to avoid encountering germs and catching illnesses. Hand-to-hand contact is the most common way germs are spread, and viruses can linger on contaminated surfaces like door handles, tables and shared computers.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly: before and after preparing food, after going to the toilet and after you cough, sneeze or use a tissue. Here’s some advice on how to wash your hands properly using soap, water and paper towel.
- Always cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. It’s a part of your body less likely to touch other surfaces and will help stop the spread of those nasty germs.
- Look after yourself so your body is ready to fight if you do get sick. We recommend getting a good night sleep and considering probiotics.
If you do get sick, quarantine yourself and get a check up
- The most common symptoms of the flu are a sudden high fever, a dry cough, body aches and feeling very weak and tired.
- See a medical professional early if you’re feeling unwell. It’s very important that you don’t wait for things to get worse. You can book a free appointment with the Deakin Medical Centre or see your local doctor. If you need medical assistance after hours or on weekends, call the National Home Doctor Service on 13SICK (13 74 25): they operate 24 hours a day and can visit you at your home.*
- If you’ve got a question about your symptoms and can’t get to a doctor, you can call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 and speak to a registered nurse for advice. Visit the website for more details.
- To ensure a speedy recovery, you should rest as much as possible, drink lots of water, stay at home and manage your symptoms (talk to a pharmacist for appropriate over-the-counter medication). You should also stay away from uni, work and other public places – flu is highly contagious and is much more serious than the common cold.
Visit the Better Health Channel for information about the flu and why you should get a flu shot. And, if you have questions, please email us at [email protected].
*The National Home Doctor Service is not available in Warrnambool: contact your local doctor for after hours assistance.