Influenza – Tips and Facts
Since Australia seems to be hit the hardest with the virus out of many other countries, it is important to not only have a vaccine that will keep residents healthy but also one that will protect the population in other countries from infected Australians who may travel there for business or pleasure.
How to Protect Yourself
The first thing you need to do to protect yourself from the flu is wash your hands frequently, especially after you touch something that could have been contaminated before by someone else. If you have children, you must teach them to do the same, not only to protect themselves but to avoid bringing the virus home with them and infecting the family. They should be taught to wash their hands as soon as they walk in the door after school or playing with friends.
It is also important that if you don’t feel well that you stay home. To help stop the spread of the virus through your city, don’t try to tough it out and go to work because you’re contagious and everyone you come in contact with is at risk to get sick.
Why the Virus Spreads so Fast in Australia
It may just be coincidental but it does seem as though the virus spreads faster in Australia than other places. So, why is this? Experts suggest that there are a few reasons for this with the first being aboriginal associations. Of course, it is in no way right to look down or frown upon the aboriginal population but places such as Victoria do see the widest and fastest spread of the virus.
It is believed that this is because this population already has many underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes which makes them more vulnerable to the virus. Not to mention, they live in poorer conditions than what other Australians are used to which makes personal hygiene a challenge sometimes. Due to this information, the swine flu vaccination was free for the aboriginal population for 2010 and is expected to be next year as well.
Tourism is another reason why Influenza in Australia is so hard to control. Thousands of people travel by plane and cruise ship to Australia everyday, any of which could have the virus which is then spread around through the local population. Since it is impossible to control this since many people traveling don’t necessarily know they are infected for up to 48 hours, Australians are urged to be vaccinated every year.