Seasonal Influenza

Influenza, or ‘flu’ is a serious illness. It is a highly contagious acute viral infection that affects people of all ages.

The flu is spread by sneezing, coughing or even talking. It typically starts suddenly with fever, chills, sweating, headache, aching muscles, joint pains, and a cough or other respiratory symptoms. While most people recover without complications in a few weeks, the flu can cause serious illness and death, especially in the very young and the elderly.

Flu epidemics occur mainly in the winter months. A vaccine is produced every year based on the strains of virus expected to be circulating. Immunisation should occur before the onset of flu season, between March and May, as protection develops a few weeks after the injection and lasts for up to one year. Following the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, the 2010 seasonal flu vaccine will include the H1N1 swine flu strain.

The East Perth Medical Centre is currently offering a choice between intradermal and intramuscular delivery system immunisations. Intradermal delivery is where the injection is given into the skin, and intramuscular delivery is where the injection is given directly into the muscle. Intradermal delivery reduces the pain and may be a more effective delivery for you.

For more information view the Government of Western Australia Department of Health fact sheets, or discuss with your doctor.