Influenza

Influenza, or flu, is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract1. Don't be misled! Flu is more serious than a common cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses2.

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The flu is in town – have you protected yourself and your beloved ones?

The flu (influenza) is much more dangerous than a common cold. Symptoms of flu tend to be more severe and last for longer2. Its complications can lead to hospitalizations and may even cause death1.

In Singapore, the flu season is generally from December to February, and May to July3. There are 4 flu strains (2A and 2B) – "4 flu monsters" - that can cause almost all causes of seasonal flu1. So, it is important that you get protected against all 4 of them.

Seasonal Influenza

Myths vs Facts

Myth:

I am worried that the flu vaccine can give me a flu

Fact:

It is a misconception about flu vaccines. A flu shot cannot cause the flu illness as it does not contain the active virus4.

Myth:

I had a flu shot before, hence I am protected for life.

Fact:

Flu strains may differ from season to season, so you may need vaccination to protect against currently circulating viruses1. Talk to your doctor to find out more.

Protection Against Influenza

Symptoms

Flu and Its Symptoms

Symptoms of seasonal influenza can include1:

Symptoms

Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better6.

How it spreads

How can you get flu1,2?

How it spreads

Impact on health

What is the impact of flu?

Impact on health

Are you at high risk of flu?

Vaccination is especially recommended by MOH for people at higher risk of complications of flu5:

  • The elderly#
  • People with chronic lung or heart disease, including asthma and COPD
  • People with diabetes
  • People with renal, neurologic, liver, or blood disorders
  • Young children^
  • Women at all stages of pregnancy

Complications of flu can include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear Infections and others. People with asthma may experience asthma attacks, people with chronic heart failure may experience a worsening of their condition triggered by flu7. Flu can also increase the risk of premature birth in pregnancy8.

# Persons aged 65 years and older
^ Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years

Get protected

What can you do to protect against flu?

Get protected

What's next? Ask your doctor today about flu and flu prevention.

Get protected

References

  • WHO, Influenza (Seasonal), Fact sheet No211 March 2014. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • NHS Choices, Cold or Flu? Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/coldsandflu/Pages/Isitacoldorflu.aspx; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • HealthHub website. Influenza. Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/103/topics_influenza; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • MOH. Influenza. Available at: https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/i/influenza.html; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • NHS choices. Flu. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. People at high risk of developing flu related complications. Available at: www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm; Last accessed Jun 2018
  • Lim, L.W. Ang, S.H. Tey, et.al. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in pregnant and non-pregnant women hospitalized in Singapore, May –December 2009, Public Health, Volume 129, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 769-776.
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