It’s never a pleasant feeling to be down with the flu: your nose is blocked, your head hurts, and your entire body is aching. Transmitted through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks, the flu — or influenza — is a contagious viral disease.
While most tend to recover from the flu within a week or so, it’s always better not to fall ill at all. Here are a few tips on how you can avoid the flu and protect yourself from the influenza virus.
Tips on Avoiding the Flu
Practise good hand hygiene
A simple way of avoiding the flu — and other viral infections — is to adopt good hygiene practices, specifically keeping your hands clean.
Make it a habit to wash or sanitise your hands regularly and also avoid touching your face unnecessarily, especially after you’ve touched a public surface. This is because germs may live on hard surfaces for extended periods of time; touching these surfaces and then touching your face may result in you infecting yourself accidentally.
As such, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly — particularly before meals or before touching any part of your face.
Strengthen your immune system
Having a strong immune system will help your body fight off any infections — not just influenza — on the off chance that you come in contact with these nasty viruses.
Being consistent with good lifestyle habits is the way to build a strong immune system. This includes:
- Eating a balanced diet that includes leafy vegetables, fruits, and lean protein
- Keeping active (such as going for regular evening walks after work or playing sports with friends on the weekend)
- Getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night
If you think your immune system needs a little boost, you can also try taking vitamins and supplements and see if your body feels any different.
Get your annual flu shot
The influenza vaccination is the primary and most effective way to prevent influenza and influenza-associated complications, especially for individuals that are at higher risk of complications. These flu vaccines are updated annually to ensure that it’s the most effective against the ever-changing influenza virus.
The influenza vaccine works by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the flu virus. The vaccine contains either an inactivated or weakened form of the flu virus or pieces of the virus’s genetic material.
When the vaccine is injected into the body, the immune system recognizes the virus as foreign and produces antibodies to fight it. If a person is later exposed to the actual flu virus, their immune system is able to recognize and quickly fight the virus, reducing the severity and duration of the illness. It’s important to note that it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to develop protection against the flu.
Where can I get a flu vaccination in Singapore?
You can get vaccinated with us. Book a flu vaccination appointment in Singapore at any of our DA clinics or in the comfort of your home.
If you have loved ones who also require their flu vaccinations, we even offer home-based family packages to make it conveneint for everyone to get vaccinated.
Am I eligible for subsidised flu vaccinations?
Subsidised flu vaccinations are available for in-clinic appointments at our DA clinics, depending on your demographic and risk profile. You may be eligible for a subsidised flu vaccination if you are a Singaporean citizen who is:
- Aged 65 and older
- Aged 18 – 64 years old and has existing chronic health conditions
- An infant between 6 – 17 months or a child in a high-risk group
- A pregnant woman
You can find more information about your eligibility for subsidised flu vaccinations here.
If you’re unsure about your suitability for a flu vaccination, it’s good to speak to a doctor to clarify your doubts. Consult a licensed GP anytime you need on the DA app and get advice on whether you should get your flu shot.