22 Sep 2017
September 22, 2017

Influenza

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INFLUENZA

There has been an exceptional amount of people diagnosed with Influenza in recent months. As stated by the Department of Health, a person will usually develop signs and symptoms of Influenza within one to three days after being infected by the virus. If you suspect you have Influenza, you may feel very sick and should rest.

SYMPTOMS
• Sudden onset of fever (temperature over 38 degrees C) with shivering and feeling cold
• Headache and muscle aches
• Sore throat
• Dry cough
• Difficulty breathing
• Sneezing and/or runny nose
• Tiredness
• Decreased appetite

HOW DOES IT SPREAD?
• Respiratory spread: can spread via an infectious person breathing in close range to another. Respiratory droplets can spread via the eyes, nose, and mouth. The uninfected person only needs to be a metre away.
• Contact spread: the virus can be spread via contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs from unwashed hands of an infected person.

HOW LONG AM I INFECTIOUS FOR?
• Adults are infectious for up to 7 days.
• Primary school aged children are infections for up to 14 days.
• Pre-school children are infectious for up to 21 days.
• You are most infectious while coughing and sneezing.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
• Always wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based product.
• Don’t share personal items.
• Clean all surfaces which may have come into contact with the virus.
• Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.
• Cover your mouth at all times when coughing or sneezing.

JUST REMEMBER
• Flu viruses survive on surfaces for 2 days.
• Flu viruses can survive on unwashed hands for 30 minutes.
• Flu viruses can survive on cloth, paper, and tissue for up to 12 hours.
• When visiting your GP, please advise staff if you think you may have Influenza. You may be placed in an isolated area and/or offered a mask so as to not infect other patients.

Reference – The Department of Health 2012, Protecting yourself and others, Australian Government