PEOPLE at high risk of heart disease are being urged to get the flu shot, with research suggesting it could halve their risk of heart attack.
Heart Foundation chief executive officer Graeme Lynch said the risk of heart attack aside, people with a heart conditions tended to experience more severe symptoms when they contracted a flu virus.
“There are some compelling reasons for all of us to get a flu shot, but if you have a heart condition it’s extremely important that you make an appointment with your GP for vaccination,” he said.
Influenza can be a potentially fatal disease.
Common symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but last longer and are more severe.
They include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and pain, a fever and coughing.
Mr Lynch said blood-thinning agent Warfarin could be affected by cold or flu symptoms.
“Something not many people are aware of is that some medicines used to relieve flu symptoms can interact with medicines prescribed for a heart condition,” he said.
“If you have a heart condition and are feeling unwell, speak to your doctor.
“There is a significant body of research that points to the fact that the influenza vaccine provides protection against heart attack and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death globally and in Australia.
“If you have flu or flu-like symptoms, please avoid contact with others and stay home from work.”