Monday 24 February, 2020

Lucians urged to get flu vaccine amidst 'one of the worst' flu seasons

SLMDA President Dr Merle Clarke

SLMDA President Dr Merle Clarke

The Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) is urging members of the pubic to get vaccinated to protect themselves against what has been described as one of the worst flu seasons as the number of confirmed cases continues to climb.

“We are advising people to get their flu vaccine,” SLMDA president, Dr Merle Clarke told Loop News.

According to the health professional, children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases are more susceptible to developing complications such as pneumonia and influenza.

“The vaccine is not going to prevent a hundred per cent of the flu but it does prevent a very high percentage in the upper eighties close to ninety,” Dr Clarke said.

She added, “While vaccines against many diseases remain effective for a long time, vaccination against the flu shot needs to be done every year, reason being, the virus mutates quickly which makes the previous vaccine obsolete.”

The bottom line she says is getting vaccinated every year is the best way to prevent the flu.

Flu or influenza is caused by viruses, which become airborne when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Persons become infected when they breathe in these viruses, or when the mucus membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth get in contact with viruses picked up after touching infected surfaces.

Most persons with flu recover within a few days, after developing a fever, cough, runny nose, muscle and joint pains.

Persons with the flu are being urged to stay home as cases continue to rise island-wide.

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