Madam Ho Ching says the flu bug is particularly bad this year

By October 23, 2019Current

TL;DR – Stay healthy and get the flu jab, people!

One of Madam Ho Ching’s (many!) Facebook posts caught my attention yesterday. Why? Well, we all know she posts plenty, fast and furious, but she usually just reposts without uttering a word. So this post caught my attention because she actually wrote an accompanying blurb.

In her post, Madam Ho Ching reminded us to go get our flu vaccines. Nice!

Since the flu season is fast approaching, I decided to drop a quick piece to share some facts and also to push Madam Ho’s reminder further to keep us all healthy as we enter the last quarter of the year.

A cold is not the same as a flu

Influenza, commonly known as the “flu”, is a contagious disease that can affect anyone including healthy people. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs), causing inflammation of the mucous membranes.

While the common cold and flu have some similar symptoms (stuffy runny nose, cough and sore throat), the flu comes with more intense discomfort, including a high fever that lasts several days, terrible aches and extreme exhaustion.

Table of comparison of the symptoms between cold and flu (via)

Yes, it can get a little confusing, and many of us do mistake the flu for the common cold. But with the flu, the “attack” is abrupt and not a build-up like the common cold often is. You will also usually run a fever, get the chills, feel aches all over and yes, the fatigue and exhaustion can get really bad with the flu.

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When in doubt, please go see the doctor. The flu is a respiratory illness which is highly contagious and can affect anyone, including healthy people. It can develop in to a more serious state and potentially lead to severe complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infection, meningitis (inflammation of the lining that covers the brain) or even death.

So, when is flu season?

Singapore typically has two peak flu seasons every year , from April to July, and from November to January.

The most effective way to protect ourselves and our family members is to immunise ourselves once every year. Note that it takes two weeks for a vaccine to take effect, so get the vaccination before peak flu season starts.

Who should go for flu vaccination?

Everyone, if you ask me! And especially if you belong to one of these more vulnerable groups:

  • Persons aged 65 years and above
  • Children less than 5 years old
  • Persons who have chronic medical conditions with compromised immunity e.g. diabetes, HIV infection and heart disease
Healthcare workers and travellers will also benefit from vaccines.

How much does flu vaccination cost?

Vaccinations can be done at hospitals, polyclinics and GP clinics. It typically costs between $35-$50 at the private clinics.

If you’re part of the Pioneer Generation (PG), Merdeka Generation (MG) or if you have a CHAS card, the costs are probably significantly lower if you get it done at the polyclinics.

If you’re a NTUC member, membership too has its privileges. You can just flash your membership card at any of the the Raffles Medical Clinics and have your flu vaccination at $31.78. The same offer is also extended to the NTUC member’s family members.

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Stay healthy, people!


(Featured image via)


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Qiqi Wong

Author Qiqi Wong

Insert pretentious crap about myself here.

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