Seasonal influenza (flu): The importance of vaccination

Anticipating climate change and to get vaccinated for seasonal flu is to insure yourselves.

In Portugal, the flu usually occurs between autumn and spring, especially during the winter. In addition to the complications it may cause, especially among high risk groups, this infection can lead to more serious diseases (ex. Pneumonia) and put life at risk.

Vaccination reduces the risk of infection and attenuates the severity of the disease.

As last year, Lifeclinic® meets the needs of customers that seek a convenient way to be vaccinated for seasonal flu in extended hours and no need to purchase the vaccine in advance.

Contact us here or call us on 21 191 43 22 / 25.

What is the Flu?
The Seasonal influenza is a contagious disease which is transmitted from person to person. This is mainly due to a respiratory infection caused by influenza virus (A, B and C). Since these viruses undergo constant change there are different strains, and some are more contagious than others, by giving rise to diseases with varying degrees of severity.

What are the main signs and symptoms of the disease?
Take note: The main symptoms of seasonal flu are fever of sudden onset, accompanied by discomfort or fatigue and widespread muscle pain. You can also experience loss of appetite, dry cough, headache, trouble sleeping, chills, sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, congestion of eyes, sore throat and joint pain.

In most cases, symptoms are more intense 2-3 days after infection and which attenuate about 1 week later. The cough and fatigue can persist for 2-3 weeks.

In latent and children, fever may be accompanied by drowsiness, apathy, lack of feedback and weakness, loss of appetite and vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, neck and joints.

What are the risk groups in the case of Seasonal Flu?
It is said that a person belongs to a group of risk when there is an increased danger of complications due to the existence, in this case, a flu infection. In the case of seasonal influenza risk groups are: the elderly, young children and the chronically ill.

There are differences between the common cold and seasonal flu?
Yes, although the two situations are caused by viruses and may produce similar symptoms. However, they present different clinical situations. The flu affects the lungs with greater intensity and does not produce the feeling of heavy head, habitual constipation.

How can I be infected with seasonal flu?
Influenza viruses are usually transmitted through saliva droplets expelled by a person who is infected through coughing and sneezing. Contact with contaminated hand also contributed to the spread of infection. Typically, after a person is infected takes 1-3 days to show symptoms and can transmit the infection one day before the beginning of these same symptoms.

Both children and people with depressed immune system and therefore more vulnerable, can remain infected for a longer period.

What is the best treatment?
In normal cases, the flu can heal spontaneously, and most people can treat symptoms at home. Antibiotics are not recommended for the treatment of common flu because they do not have any effect on the influenza virus. In some cases (rare), where there are already complications associated with flu infection may be necessary to use these antibiotics

Some antiviral medications may be effective in the treatment of flu by reducing the duration and intensity but they should always be administered under medical prescription.

People with flu should rest, stay home in bed while the more severe symptoms persist, and drink plenty of fluids. They must have good personal hygiene to prevent the spread of viruses via "hand-mouth-nose."

How can I prevent it?
The common flu can be prevented by annual vaccination. Vaccination greatly reduces the risk of infection and if a vaccinated person becomes infected, the severity of disease is lower and the symptoms are more attenuated.

It should also reduce contact with infected people, betting on good hygiene practices and maintenance of good body defenses achieved by maintaining a healthy lifestyle (nutrition, regular exercise, rest, proper clothing, etc.)..

Who should be vaccinated?
Annual vaccination should be performed by all persons, especially by groups with higher risk of complications, especially elderly and children over 6 months of age suffering from chronic diseases of the lungs, heart, kidney or liver, diabetes or other diseases that decrease resistance to infection.

When am I supposed to vaccinate?
The vaccination should preferably be done in October but may be applied throughout the autumn and winter.

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