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Everybody should be Kung flu fighting

With winter well and truly upon us, it can only mean one thing – flu season. It is important everyone be aware of the best moves for Kung Flu Fighting.

As Sun Tzu said “know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. So to tackle the first part of this advice we must first understand exactly what is the influenza or flu? There are three types of the influenza virus – A, B and C. Influenza A is more serious than B and C and is the only type known to cause widespread outbreaks. The influenza virus is constantly changing, and in Australia we are faced with a new strain of the virus every winter with the flu vaccine being adjusted accordingly.

How could I catch the flu?
Influenza is a very contagious viral infection and can easily be contracted. There are three main ways in which influenza can be spread.

  1. If someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus are launched into the air and can spread about 1 metre and hang in the air for a while, where they can be inhaled by another person who may become infected.
  2. These flu drops can also land on any nearby surfaces, and any person touching these surfaces also runs the risk of becoming infected.
  3. If someone hasn’t washed their hands after touching their nose or mouth, and then touches another person or object, leaving traces of the virus behind them.
  4. How can I best avoid catching the flu?
  5. Good hygiene is the best protection – regularly wash your hands with soap and water, particularly after touching your nose and mouth, and before handling food.
  6. Disposable tissues should be discarded immediately once you have used them.
  7. Clean surfaces that you touch most often (e.g. keyboards, phones, door handles and kitchen counters).
  8. Flu vaccination – this is free for anyone aged 65 years and over. It is available to anyone over 6 months of age.

What are the symptoms?
Now that we know a little more about our enemy, we need to “know yourself”. Even with the knowledge of how to prevent the flu, it does not make us impenetrable to catching the flu. So how do you know if you have the flu? The main symptoms are:

  • Body aches & pains
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme exhaustion

Stay warm and healthy this winter!