Vaccination the Best Protection Against Flu: Armstrong
According to Western Australia Health Department communicable disease control Director Paul Armstrong, by far the best way to protect oneself from getting the flu is to get vaccinated.
Although northern parts of Australia have experienced unexplained and unusually high flu activity during the summer, sometimes four to five times greater than normal, authorities have stated that West Australians can expect a moderate flu season this year.
Australian health authorities expect the same three strains of the flu virus as last year to be circulating again during this flu season. These strains include influenza A strain H1N1, also known as swine flu, influenza A strain H3N2, and influenza B strain.
While all of these strains are covered by this year’s flu vaccine, there is a slight risk of the virus “drifting” as the virus changes slightly, rendering the vaccine slightly less effective.
Nevertheless, Mr. Armstrong stated: “Vaccination is by far the best way of protecting oneself against getting influenza. Notwith- standing the virus' propensity to drift a little bit, overall it is an effective vaccine”.
In particular, health authorities are urging people with underlying medical conditions (including heart conditions, severe asthma, lung disease, diabetes and kidney disease), pregnant women, people aged over 65 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 15 to get vaccinated this year.
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