What is the Australian Flu
”Aussie” Flu is a new and rapidly evolving strain of influenza that has swept across Australia this year. So far 73 people have died, but the final figure will probably be much higher according to the Australian Department of Health. It is also known as the H3N2 virus, a subtype of Influenza A.
What are the symptoms and how does the disease spread?
The symptoms of flu are a rapidly onsetting fever, congestion in the lungs leading to sneezing and coughing, headaches, muscle aches and a sore throat. The symptoms can be very severe, particularly in the elderly and can even lead to death if pneumonia sets in. People can be contagious from one day to one week before symptoms appear so the virus can spread rapidly. Flu is transmitted by breathing in droplets spread by coughs and sneezes or by touching the nose, mouth or eyes after touching a contaminated surface.
What it may mean for Europe:
Many experts are worried that the H3N2 virus will soon make its way to Europe and the UK. The Australian winter is currently coming to an end, whilst ours in the UK is just beginning.
Tips to Avoid catching the ‘Aussie Flu”
If there is an epidemic, follow these tips to hopefully avoid catching the flu:
The flu jab against this strain offers 30 – 50 percent protection and is available from many pharmacists. Some people in the UK are entitled to a free flu jab. If you are asthmatic, over 65, pregnant, aged between 2 and 9, or have a long-term health problem, you may be entitled to a free flu vaccination, which is available as either a jab or a nasal spray.
1.Prepare: If you the organized type stocking up on essential winter supplies, such as tissues. If you into a natural well-being Vitamins from lemons and honey to make a soothing drink some people even add cloves to help soothe a throat. If you keep a and hand sanitizers and decongestants in your home and bag it helps prevent infection. Plug in vaporisers can be very comforting for little ones with blocked noses.
2.Hand Hygiene: Make sure everyone washes their hands properly with lots of hot water and soap, especially if you have children. Get everyone in the habit of washing their hands as soon as they enter the house and, of course, before each meal and after using the bathroom.
3.Eat Well: Fill up the pantry with quick meals and snacks that are easy to prepare.
If you have the flu, getting plenty of rest is vital. Make sure you have enough fluids but avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol. Chicken soup can soothe respiratory infections. Prescribed antiviral medications can also help.
Remember, flu can be a life-threatening condition so if you or anyone in your family is ill, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Sources: NHS, Gov.UK