4 people most vulnerable to flu complications and why they should vaccinate

The influenza season is fast approaching and South Africans need to be prepared, according to Professor Lucille Blumberg who is the Deputy Director at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

We predict that the flu season will start at the second half of May and the beginning of June. Those at risk of the complications of flu need to be vaccinated in time. The vaccine takes two weeks to be effective.

Professor Lucille Blumberg, Deputy Director at the NICD

Blumberg says that there are different strains of flu for South Africans to protect themselves against, but that some individuals are more vulnerable to the complications of flu (such as pneumonia) than others. Here are the people who face the highest risks:

1. Pregnant women

2. The elderly

3. Persons living with HIV

4. Individuals suffering from other chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes

According to Blumberg every flu season is different, and an influenza infection can affect people differently. She says that getting vaccinated for influenza can help in reducing the rate of work absenteeism for employed South Africans.

Frequently Asked Questions, answered by the NCID.

What is influenza?

According to the NCID, influenza is an acute viral respiratory infection, transmitted by the influenza virus. This virus has three main types A, B and C. Influenza A is classified into different subtypes. The currently circulating seasonal viruses are A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B viruses. The flu viruses are typically in circulation in the winter months in South Africa with an average start of the first week of June, although this varies.

What are the signs and symptoms of influenza?

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Acute upper respiratory symptoms: dry cough, sore throat
  • General symptoms: malaise, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and body aches , cold shivers and hot sweats
  • GIT symptoms: occasionally diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting (more common in children)

For more information on how to prepare for seasonal flu, visit the NCID website.

On CapeTalk and 702's Weekend Breakfast Show, Africa Melane spoke to Professor in Vaccinology, Shabir Madhi. Madhi explained that the most vulnerable people need to be vaccinated as early as possible to allow for enough time for the window period to pass and to let the vaccine become effective.

The vaccination has arrived in South Africa and is now available to the public. Ask your health practitioner for the nearest access point.

Listen to the full conversation on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
'Madiba was a Pan-African leader, a man of his time'

'Madiba was a Pan-African leader, a man of his time'

Just a day before Madiba's birthday Obenewa Amponsah looks at his life and his connections within the African continent.

SA's rural school toilets woefully underserviced - research

SA's rural school toilets woefully underserviced - research

A study by the Water Research Commission has revealed some alarming and unsanitary practices at rural schools across the country.

Competition Commission denies allegations of corruption

Competition Commission denies allegations of corruption

Commissioner at Competition Commission, Tembinkosi Bonakele says the allegations leveled against them are utter rubbish.

ANC and DA tracking close together in the Western Cape - Ipsos report

ANC and DA tracking close together in the Western Cape - Ipsos report

According to the latest “Pulse of the People” (Ipsos) study, the ANC and DA pulled 26% and 28% respectively in the Western Cape.

Why You Should Still Get the Flu Shot

Why You Should Still Get the Flu Shot

Every year as the season changes, and temperatures drop many become victims of the influenza virus. Does the flu shot protect you?

Fewer deaths in SA than any time since 2001 (and 4 other insights from Stats SA)

Fewer deaths in SA than any time since 2001 (and 4 other insights from Stats SA)

Flu kills more South Africans of all ages than HIV. This and other surprising insights from Stats SA’s latest mortality report.

Popular articles
Robots are already replacing financial advisors right here in South Africa

Robots are already replacing financial advisors right here in South Africa

But can they be trusted? Are they independent? Bruce Whitfield interviews Personal Financial Advisor Warren Ingram.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

You’re either a ‘money slave’ or a ‘money master’ (says author of 'My Money')

You’re either a ‘money slave’ or a ‘money master’ (says author of 'My Money')

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Sugar Creek financial expert and author of “My Money” Gerald Mwandiambira.

How to make money through ‘buy-to-let’ (using very little of your own money)

How to make money through ‘buy-to-let’ (using very little of your own money)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Francois Janse van Rensburg, author of “Making Money through Buy-To-Let in South Africa".

Retirement: 8 biggest mistakes people typically make…

Retirement: 8 biggest mistakes people typically make…

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Galileo Capital Financial Advisor Warren Ingram.

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

Marli van Breda's ex took the stand in the trial of triple murder accused Henri van Breda.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Elon Musk, as you’d expect, hails from an exceptional family. Bruce Whitfield interviews his Capetonian father.