Overview

Respiratory infections

It’s important to be aware of respiratory infectious diseases such as the common cold, flu, pneumonia and COVID-19, particularly in winter. Whilst the cooler months are higher risk, especially for people living with a lung disease, there are many things you can to do to protect yourself and keep your lungs healthy including getting vaccinated. With state and international borders now open, experts are predicting a surge in cases of flu this year. Now is the time to take steps to keep yourself well.

Influenza

Influenza is an infection caused by a virus. It is spread from person-to-person by tiny drops produced during a cough or sneeze and by hand to hand contact. While we often call it the “flu”, the common cold is rarely due to the influenza virus. True influenza causes a much more severe illness than the usual cold. Learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia can affect anyone - it's a common and potentially fatal lung infection that should not be underestimated. One of the most severe forms of pneumonia is pneumococcal pneumonia, which is caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae. This bacterium is responsible for approximately 1.6 million deaths each year world-wide. Read more about how to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a type of respiratory virus. COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 which first emerged in late 2019. Since then, it has caused millions of deaths around the world. The virus spreads from person-to-person by droplets and airborne particles from an infected person. There are simple and effective strategies you can put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and stay well.
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The common cold

The “common cold” is a viral infection. In more than two thirds of people, the germ responsible is a small virus called rhinovirus. People have been trying to cope with the common cold for many years. It remains the most prevalent contagious disease in this country. It is the most cited reason for absence from school or work, and the commonest reason for a visit to a family doctor.
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