Viruses and vaccines
While we are preparing this edition of MediBrief, news about the Coronavirus is making global headlines. By the time this edition reaches you, the information available today would already be outdated. If there was anything urgent that you would need to know, we will rather use email and SMS to communicate with you. To stay informed, follow the news from reputable sources and don’t fall for fake news or unnecessary panic.
To put it into perspective - the influenza virus (flu) is still a much bigger threat, with as many as 5 million severe flu cases reported worldwide and hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. For both viruses, prevention is key. The same principals apply - stay away from people that sneeze or couch, wash your hands regularly, especially after touching communal surfaces, stay at home if you are sick etc. While scientists work on a Coronavirus vaccine, there is a vaccine that works to protect you against the influenza virus. The new flu vaccines will be available shortly. Make use of them, especially if you belong to risk groups, such as patients with certain chronic conditions, immunosuppressive conditions, if you are elderly. Speak to your GP if you want to find out more. AMS pays for the flu vaccine and the consultation with your healthcare provider needed to get the vaccine. Get your flu shot early and while they are available as more South Africans might make use of the vaccine with all the Coronavirus discussion in the news.