South Africa recorded its first cases of COVID-19 (caused by the latest coronavirus). Given increasing travel and economic integration between countries, it was only a matter of time before it arrived here. We understand many of our patients are concerned and want to know what they should do, if anything. As medical professionals we share some of our insights below;
Should you have a weakened immune system, either by age or an current ailment which affects your immune system like Aids, TB or any other disease, you are more vulnerable to be affected by the coronavirus with its flu like symptoms.
As we in South Africa are entering our flu season, it will be of the utmost importance for these people to be vaccinated against the latest strain of flu viruses expected for this winter. By getting vaccinated your immune system wil be enhanced to fight any exposure to the coronavirus.
But there is one simple way to combat this, namely by getting into the habit of washing your hands frequently and properly using soap or an antiseptic hand wash.
Hygiene is af the utmost importance, as this is where most of the germs are found on those things which you and the people you work or live with touch. As the virus is airborne it is spread by droplets of body fluid when you sneeze, cough or speak. These droplets land on all surfaces like tables, chairs and by touching your nose or mouth it spreads even further to door handles and everything you touch.
Medhof Pharmacy carries stock of all that would be require in terms of hand wash, antiseptic cleaners as well as flu vaccines.
Medhof also offers to visit your business, school or day-care center should you have ten or more employees which require flu vaccination. We shall do the vaccination on site. Early booking is essential.
Handwash is still one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family and the people you come into contact with from getting sick.
Wash your hand often to stay healthy. This is of particular importance while you are preparing food, helping sick persons, touching your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough or handle animals, especially your pets. and while handeling garbage.
five steps to wash your hands the correct way.
1 – Wet your hands with clean running water, turn off. the tap and apply soap. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap or water is not available.
2 – Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the back of your hands as well as between your vingers and under your nails.
3 – Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
4 – Rinse your hands under clean running water.
5 – Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Why is it important to get the flu vaccine?
Tens of thousands of people die annually from flu related illnesses, while hundreds of thousands are hospitalized. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
It is therefore advised that everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season with rare exception.
When should I get a flu
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in autumn, before flu season begins.
MEDHOF offers to go to businesses and schools to vaccinate your employees and pupils on site, and at your work.
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary from season to season. The protection provided by an influenza vaccine depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to produce vaccine and those in circulation.
While influenza vaccine varies in how well it works, every season influenza vaccines prevent millions of influenza illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.
What protection does a flu vaccine provide if I do get sick with flu?
Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Flu vaccinations have been shown to reduce illness, doctors’ visits and missed work, according to the CDC. Unfortunately, your employees are busy, and fitting in a vaccination into the workday can be a challenge.
One way ways to combat this is to make use of Medhof Pharmacy’s offer to visit your business, school or play group should you be more than ten adults requiring this vaccination.
Simple hygiene can go a long way to preventing the spread of influenza. On surfaces, the influenza virus can infect people for up to 48 hours. It is highly recommended to follow some basic protocols in offices and critical environments, including encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick, cover your coughs and sneezes, washing hands regularly and encouraging employees to disinfect their personal workspace.
Proper disinfecting kills 90% of germs, including the flu virus.