Come winter time, we take some steps in our family to reduce risks of illness – especially the flu.
Our eldest son has congenital heart disease and is at an increased risk of flu related complications so it’s especially important he doesn’t get sick. Other vulnerable members of the population include people over 65 years of age, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Last year South Australia suffered a severe flu season, with over 28 000 notified cases and sadly 118 people died of complications from the illness.
The measures we take to avoid becoming one of the statistics are pretty simple:
We visit our local GP to get vaccinated against the flu, but we understand that staying well in winter is about more than just getting the flu vaccine.
We steer clear of people who have flu-like symptoms and if any of us become unwell we try not to infect others by staying home from school and work. People with flu should be excluded from childcare, preschool, school and work until there has been no fever for 24 hours (without using a fever reducing medicine such as paracetamol).
We wash out hands frequently with soap and water and make sure we have an alcohol based hand sanitiser in the car.
We practice good hygiene by wiping surfaces frequently and we cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or our arm, not our hands.
Other than that, we just try and be sensible by wearing warm clothes and living a healthy lifestyle that includes good food and plenty of exercise.
To learn more about staying well in winter visit the SA Health Winter Wellness website HERE and follow #WinterWellness for tips on how to protect yourself and your family this season.