Cancer Survivors, Patients Need Flu Shot!

portia and tanya feb

One of our Volunteers Portia (far right) with one of the kids we supported with school fees, Marcia. Marcia’s mum had cervical cancer. 

by Francis Nyachowe, ECCT Field Officer

If you’re having chemotherapy treatment, should you get a flu shot? I was recently asked this, and the answer is yes. It’s important for cancer survivors to prepare for the flu season.

If you have a current or past diagnosis of cancer, you may be at higher risk for complications if you get the flu. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot every year.

As a cancer survivor, you should receive the seasonal flu shot, not the nasal spray vaccine. Remind your family to also get the flu shot as this will also reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus from others around you.

The sister of Sarah, one of the patients we previously supported with cervical cancer – outside their home in Hatcliffe, Harare. Sarah was in Marondera on this day.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Here are a few tips for protection:

  • Wash your hands frequentlywith soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,especially when out and about.
  • Keep your distance from someone who appears ill or has symptoms — no handshakes or hugs.
  • If you have flu symptoms,connect with your care team to find out more about any special precautions or treatment needed — this is especially important if you have recently completed chemotherapy treatment.

It’s important to protect yourself during the flu season. Use common sense, pay attention to any flu-like symptoms and most importantly, get your flu shot for added protection. Have you had your flu shot this season?

To find out more about what we do, visit our website by clicking here now.

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