The rainy season has started again and in Jakarta flu and viruses are on the rise again. You can catch a flu (short for influenza) all year round but it is more common at the end of the year, which is why it is known as seasonal flu.
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant.
It’s not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer.
At Good Practice we can offer the quadrivalent Flu vaccine for the FIRST time in Indonesia. This vaccine protects you against 4 different flu viruses ( instead of 3).
Some of the main symptoms of flu include:
• a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
• tiredness and weakness
• a headache
• general aches and pains
• a dry, chesty cough
Cold-like symptoms – such as a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat – can also be caused by flu, but they tend to be less severe than the other symptoms you have.
Flu can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.
What to do
If you’re otherwise fit and healthy, there’s usually no need to see a doctor if you have flu-like
The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary.
Stay off work or school until you’re feeling better. For most people, this will take about a week.
When to see your GP
Consider visiting your GP if:
• you’re 65 years of age or over
• you’re pregnant
• you have a long-term medical condition – such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
• you have a weakened immune system – for example, because you’re having chemotherapy or have HIV
• you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or start or coughing up blood
• your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved after a week
In these situations, you may need medication to treat or prevent complications. Your doctor may recommend taking antiviral medicine to reduce your symptoms and help you recover more quickly.
How long does flu last and is it serious?
If you have flu, you generally start to feel ill within a few days of being infected.
You should begin to feel much better within a week or so, although you may feel tired for much longer.
You will usually be most infectious from the day your symptoms start and for a further three to seven days. Children and people with weaker immune systems may remain infectious for longer.
Most people will make a full recovery and won’t experience any further problems, but elderly people and people with certain long-term medical conditions are more likely to have a bad case of flu or develop a serious complication, such as a chest infection.
How can you catch flu
The flu virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.
These droplets typically spread about one meter. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch flu. You can also catch the virus by touching the surfaces that the droplets have landed on if you pick up the virus on your hands and then touch your nose or mouth.
Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus, including food, door handles, remote controls, handrails, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Therefore, it’s important to wash your hands frequently.
You can catch flu many times, because flu viruses change regularly and your body won’t have natural resistance to the new versions.
Preventing the spread of flu
You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures.
Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:
• regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
• using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
• putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. You should stay off work or school until you’re feeling better.
In people at risk of more serious flu, an annual flu vaccine is recommended to help reduce the risk of becoming infected.
A flu vaccine is especially recommended for :
• anyone over the age of 65
• pregnant women
• anyone who is very overweight
• children and adults with an underlying health condition
• children and adults with weakened immune systems
An annual flu vaccine is also now recommended to healthy children aged two, three and four years old, and to children in the first 2 years of primary school (years one and two).
The best time to have the vaccine is in the autumn, between September and early November. If you think you might need it, contact Good Practice Clinic.
You should have the flu vaccination every year so you stay protected, as the viruses that cause flu change every year. In Indonesia most clinics offer the vaxigrip vaccine which protects against 3 viruses. At Good Practice you can also choose the vaccine which protects against 4 viruses.
See our special offers for both vaccines
Jl Bangka Raya 106b
Jakarta 12730, +62 21 7183140