Flu: All urged to vaccinate against virulent strains

2015-04-22 00:00

AFTER a delay in this year’s flu jab, South Africans are now being urged to get vaccinated with this winter’s flu strains proving to be virulent.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness. It can also make chronic health problems worse or lead to pneumonia, which could lead to death.

Getting vaccinated against the flu, according to Netcare, will be even more important for South Africans this winter, which is likely to be colder than a normal winter. The health care company said nearly 30 children died in the United States after the northern hemisphere experienced one of its worst flu outbreaks in recent years.

Netcare said the flu vaccine that was made available to them did not provide adequate protection against two new strains of the virus, but a new vaccine, which is now available in South Africa, has been produced to match these changes in two of the three strains.

“The flu vaccine is usually available in South Africa in early March but delivery was delayed this year due to the fact that the vaccine had to be modified to better match the strains of flu that are currently doing the rounds,” said Dr Annamarie Richter, medical director at Netcare’s Primary Care Division.

She explained that each year flu vaccines are modified to comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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