There’s good news and bad news I suppose regarding flu levels this week! Firstly on the positive front the overall flu rates declined, but on the bad news front, levels increased in the under 5’s age category which obviously from a WonderBaba perspective is not good news at all 🙁
According to the HPSC Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is still the predominant circulating virus in the 2018/2019 season to date, with low numbers of influenza A(H3N2) also detected. It is important to say at this point that these strains of flu protected against IN THIS YEARS FLU VACCINE! 767 people have ended up hospitalised so far this season as a direct result of flu. 21 people have died this season so far due to flu. This geographical chart shows the areas affected by flu in the past week….pretty much everywhere!
The HPSC (who are Ireland’s specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases) and the HSE, say that influenza is expected to continue to circulate at fluctuating levels for the next 8-12 weeks so are still urging people in ‘at risk’ groups to get vaccinated as it is not too late. It only takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to become affected once administered. THERE IS STILL TIME TO GET VACCINATED! Click here to see who should get vaccinated!
The influenza vaccine is available free of charge from GPs for all people in at risk groups of all ages. If you do not have a medical card a fee may be applied. It is also available from Pharmacists for everyone aged 18 years and over whether you are ‘at risk’ or not. In my Pharmacy, Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 (012600262) we charge 15 euro to administer the vaccine, unless you have a medical card in which case it is free. To learn more about who is at risk and what to do if your child is not at risk check out my informative blog here!
How do we reduce the flu from spreading?
Reducing the flu from spreading not only reduces the risk of illness for your own child – it also reduces the risk of those who are really unwell or receiving immunosuppressive treatment such as chemotherapy from catching it. I know my conscience would not be clear if I did not do everything I could to teach my children about how to reduce the risk of transmitting infection. The potential impact of another child contracting it whose little body is not able to fight it off would be devastating. We all have a role to play in flu prevention and risk reduction even if it is just to teach our kids how to sneeze or cough into a tissue or their elbows.
Preventing spread to others
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze (catch it), disposing of the tissue as soon as possible (bin it) and cleaning your hands as soon as you can (kill it) are important measures in helping prevent the spread of germs and reducing the risk of transmission.
Its really important to teach kids to carry a tissue or failing that to cough or sneeze into their elbow. Its all about stopping the viruses from spreading through the air where they travel and infect others.
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page or my website contact page or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.
This article was written on 24/1/19 – new information will become available and should be checked on the websites below.