The importance of annual flu vaccinations during cooler climes
As the weather is getting colder, seasonal illness becomes a common theme across communities. We spoke to Dr Mahroof P. Purayil, Specialist Pediatrician at Aster Clinic, Dubai Silicon Oasis to learn more about influenza – more commonly known as “the flu.”
With more than three decades of experience in comprehensive health care, Aster DM brings affordable quality healthcare to the residents of Dubai Silicone Oasis (DSO). The clinic offers expert care across General Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynaecology, Dermatology and Internal Medicine with a team of specialists and high-end technology to support families in the community.
As we near the end of the year and cooler climes set in, it’s common for seasonal illnesses to take hold across communities.
“Seasonal flu outbreaks usually happen in winter and occur as early as October and continue till May, while the flu has similar symptoms to the common cold, it is much worse,” says Dr Mahroof P. Purayil, Specialist Pediatrician at Aster Clinic, Dubai Silicon Oasis. “The symptoms include: fever over 100.4 F (38C), aching muscles, headache, sore throat, fatigue and weakness.
“The virus is extremely contagious and is air borne, which means it spreads through coughing and sneezing. With this in mind, always catch a sneeze or cough in a tissue, throw the tissue in the bin immediately and wash your hands thoroughly.
“I would strongly recommend a flu vaccination as this reduces the risk of catching the flu by 40-60 percent; as the strain of flu changes every year, it’s important that you are vaccinated every 12 months and ideally before the winter season starts as the vaccine can take up to 2 weeks to become effective. This is really important for children below 6 years old, adults who are living with a condition such as asthma, diabetes or cardiovascular problems and those above 65 years.
“If you catch flu, my advice would be to stay home and rest; stay hydrated with water and eat a balanced diet to ensure essential vitamin intake.”
You can visit any Aster Clinic to find out more about flu vaccine and protect yourself and your family.