Health ministry reminds Jamaicans to get their flu vaccine Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is advising the public to get their influenza (flu) vaccine as the flu virus circulates worldwide and can affect anyone in any age group.

Children, healthcare workers, the elderly with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, individuals who are institutionalised or in state care, and non-health frontline workers are at particularly high risk, the ministry said in a release on Thursday.

It explained that influenza is an acute viral infection that spreads easily from one individual to another through coughing, sneezing and close contact.

The ministry said influenza can have severe symptoms in children, including diarrhoea and seizures, and should also be taken seriously by adults as it can lead to pneumonia and blood infections.

More common symptoms can include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.

The flu season in Jamaica is from October to May. The vaccine is recommended annually, every flu season.

The flu vaccine is made available to members of the public free of cost by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Private healthcare providers are also encouraged to procure the vaccine through private distributors in order to provide for the general population.

The health ministry advised individuals who suspect that they may have the flu to get adequate rest, avoid close contact with other individuals and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

The public is also advised to boost their immune system through healthy eating, exercise and keeping hydrated.