Influenza is a serious disease – responsible for between 6 000-11 000 deaths in South Africa every year.
Children and the over 65s are particularly at risk; having weaker immune systems makes them more likely to develop serious complications like pneumonia, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and secondary bacterial infections.
Protect yourself by getting a flu vaccination every year. Last year’s flu shot won’t be effective this year because every flu season is different. In South Africa, the best time to get vaccinated is before the end of April.
While no vaccine is 100 percent effective, even if you do catch the flu, it’ll be shortlived and much less severe. You can also protect yourself by washing your hands often and avoiding touching your nose, eyes or mouth.