Influenza is a contagious viral disease that causes coughing and high fever. Most people get better within one to two weeks. However, if you are elderly or have certain chronic illnesses, you may become seriously ill and your chronic illness may deteriorate.
The best protection against influenza is to get vaccinated. The vaccine protects against four different types of influenza. You can get influenza even if you are vaccinated, but the vaccine means you do not get as sick as you otherwise would.
The influenza vaccination is free for those who belong to one of the risk groups. You can get vaccinated at your health centre.
- people who are 65 years or older
- pregnant women
- adults and children older than 6 months with:
- chronic heart disease
- chronic lung disease, e.g. COPD and severe asthma
- impaired lung function or impaired cough for other reasons, such as extreme obesity or neuromuscular disease
- chronic liver or kidney failure
- diabetes mellitus
- a condition that entails a significantly weakened immune system
If you belong to one of these groups, you are at an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from influenza, even if you feel healthy and well.