Influenza (Flu) occurs at a seasonal pattern. While influenza cases are present all year, rising number of cases usually peak between December to February. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that flu activity can sometimes even last up till May.
Flu is extremely contagious and lead to respiratory illnesses that can be fatal to vulnerable populations such as elderly, young children or immunocompromised people. It is important to note that flu is caused by viruses and not bacteria, therefore antibiotics are not effective in treating flu.
There are more than 100 types of viruses documented with vaccines available. However, the current COVID-19 outbreak is a zoonotic virus (passed from animal to humans) that shows new characteristics. The world is not well enough prepared for this emerging viral outbreak, and vaccines that we know from before does not work anymore.
Having said that, it is our duty as a global citizen to contain this virus and prevent spread to more people. So what can we do to prevent contracting viruses?
FIGHT to prevent flu:
|F||Flu-shots||It’s true that there is no vaccine available for COVID-19 yet, but there are still a few known types viruses (eg H1N1) that can infect you and they can be just as life-threatening. Reduce your chances of contracting flu viruses by 60%, and get a flu shot especially if you are required to travel for work.|
|G||Germ-free environment||Antiseptic and antibacterial wipes|
|H||Hand hygiene||Soap and water, hand sanitizers|
|T||Touch-me-not!||Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as often as viruses and germs tend to be passed on that way. CDC has urged the public to take everyday preventive actions to help curb the spread of viruses, this effort starts with YOU!|
Here is a simple checklist activity for you to do to detect early signs of flu.
- Fever of 38oC and above
- Shortness of breath / breathing problems
- Cough and sore throat
- Stuffy nose
- Body ache and tiredness
Only your healthcare provider can determine if you are sick with cold or flu. If you are concerned about signs of the flu or the cold, contact your healthcare provider.