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Colds and flu

19 April 2011

Influenza 2011 vaccine recommendations

Persons who are in the high-risk category for influenza associated complications are strongly advised to be vaccinated for influenza prior to the winter season.

Persons who are in the high-risk category for influenza associated complications are strongly advised to be vaccinated for influenza prior to the winter season. The vaccine takes two weeks to be effective so it is important that the vaccine be given before the influenza season starts.  South Africa has a well established national influenza monitoring system run by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases which provides information on the influenza season and circulating influenza virus strains. 

  • Pregnant women – irrespective of stage of pregnancy
  • Persons over the age of 6 months with underlying medical conditions predisposing them to complications of influenza including the following:
  • chronic lung disease
  • chronic cardiac disease
  • mild to severe diabetes
  • HIV-infected persons
  • All individuals over the age of 65 years

Persons living in the same household or carers of high- risk individuals and healthcare personnel should also be vaccinated to protect the at- risk group from influenza .  

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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