LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Aussie Flu: Is There A Reason To Worry? Symptoms, Risk Factors, And Prevention Tips

Date January 17, 2018

People are saying that 2017-2018 flu season may be the worst one in a decade, and many are scared of a new strain of the virus that bears the nickname “Aussie flu”. But is the new strain more dangerous than others, or is the public worry about Aussie flu out of proportion? It seems that the latter is true.

Aussie flu: what is it?

Of all types of influenza (flu) viruses, type A usually causes more severe symptoms, while the symptoms of influenza virus C infection are usually milder. Aussie flu is the colloquial name of influenza virus A(H3N2), and it got this nickname when many people fell ill because of the virus in Australia – more than in previous years.

Is Aussie flu really more dangerous than other strains?

If you’re a healthy adult, there is not much to worry about. But certain groups of people are at an increased risk of complications of the infection, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These are the same complications that other strains of the virus can cause.

Certain people are at risk of a more serious infection. They include:

  • young children;
  • people older than 65;
  • pregnant women;
  • people with an underlying health condition, such as asthma;
  • people whose immune system is compromised (such as people with HIV and patients undergoing cancer treatment).

When it comes to Aussie flu, the old people seem to be the most vulnerable.

Is there a way to prevent getting flu?

It helps to know the typical symptoms of the infection to recognize it and take measures to prevent it from spreading. Flu symptoms may include the following:

  • high body temperature – 38 C (100 F) and higher;
  • body aches;
  • headache;
  • sore throat;
  • cough;
  • feeling weak and tired;
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea and diarrhea.

Symptoms usually subside on their own and go away completely in about a week. But you should see your doctor if you’re in a risk group, your symptoms are severe, or the symptoms don’t improve in a week.

You should also know about measures that can lower the risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to others if you did catch it:

  • wash your hands often with soap and warm water – it’s a simple measure that can prevent germs from spreading;
  • get a flu vaccine, especially if you’re in a risk group – vaccine doesn’t eliminate your chances of becoming infected, but it lowers your risk significantly;
  • stay home while you’re sick and limit contact with others if possible;
  • if your child is sick, don’t send him or her to school;
  • because flu is an airborne virus, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of it as quickly as possible;
  • if you’re sick and have to leave your home, put on a surgical mask.

Source: BBC News, The Sun, Express.co.uk, Independent.ie

READ ALSO: New Studies Behind ‘Man Flu’ Show That Males May Suffer More When They Are Sick


This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

Flu Tips