With more than three decades of experience in comprehensive health care, Aster DM brings affordable quality healthcare to the residents of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The clinic offers expert care across general medicine, family medicine, paediatrics, gynaecology, dermatology and internal medicine with a team of specialists and high-end technology to support families in the community.

As the weather gets colder, seasonal illness becomes a common occurrence across communities. Dr Mahroof P. Purayil, specialist paediatrician at Aster Clinic, Dubai Silicon Oasis, talks to us about influenza, also known as ‘the flu’, and offers tips to avoid the virus: “Seasonal flu outbreaks usually happen in winter and occur as early as October and continue till May. While the flu has similar symptoms to the common cold, it is much worse. The symptoms include fever over 100.4 F (38C), aching muscles, headache, sore throat, fatigue and weakness.

“The virus is extremely contagious and is air borne, which means it spreads through coughing and sneezing so always catch a sneeze or cough in a tissue, throw the tissue in the bin immediately and wash your hands thoroughly. I would strongly recommend a flu vaccination as this reduces the risk of catching the flu by 40-60 per cent. As the strain of flu changes every year it’s important to be vaccinated every 12 months and ideally before the winter season starts, as the vaccine can take up to two weeks to become effective. This is really important for children below 6 years old, adults living with a condition such as asthma, diabetes or cardiovascular problems, and those above 65 years.

“If you catch flu my advice would be to stay home and rest; stay hydrated with water and eat a balanced diet for vitamin intake.”

Visit any Aster Clinic to find out more about flu vaccine and protect yourself and your family.