As we enter the month of October in Malaysia, we also usher in the flu season, a time when the influenza virus is most active. Influenza, a highly contagious respiratory illness, can affect people of all ages, but children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Here\u2019s what Malaysian parents need to know about the recent outbreak of Influenza A and what practical tips you need to know to safeguard your family. Understanding the Influenza Season In tropical countries like Malaysia, influenza outbreaks occur throughout the year. However, peak flu season typically occurs twice. Once during the dry season from April to June, and the second during the wet season between the months of October to January. There are typically two types of influenza viruses most commonly found in Malaysia: influenza A and influenza B. H1N1 and H3N2 are the most common subtypes of influenza A virus found to infect humans. The symptoms between them don\u2019t vary by a lot, but here are the most common ones: Fever: A temperature between 38\u00b0C and 40\u00b0C (or higher) is often an indication of a fever. Chills: When the body is fighting off an infection, it induces shivering to further raise the body temperature in an effort to kill the virus before it spreads. Cough: As an upper respiratory illness, influenza A often manifests as coughs and a sore throat. Runny or Stuffy Nose: One of the reasons why the flu is often mistaken for the common cold. Nasal congestion and a runny nose are also a common symptom for both. Muscle and Body Aches: Often referred to as myalgia, muscle aches are experienced by many flu patients. Headache: Intense headaches are a frequent symptom of influenza A. Fatigue: Chronic tiredness is common and can last for a long time even several weeks after the flu has passed. It's important to note that the severity of influenza symptoms can vary from person to person. Young children, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions, are at higher risk of complications. These can include pneumonia and sinus infection. If you or someone you know is going through extreme influenza A symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Protecting Your Kids from Flu Season Get the Flu Vaccine One of the most effective ways to protect your children from the flu is through an influenza vaccine. Annual flu shots are especially recommended for young children. This is because their immune systems are still developing and may benefit from an added boost. Consult your paediatrician or local healthcare provider for more information. It is also especially recommended for the elderly. Keep a Clean Environment Keeping a regular disinfection schedule can help keep you and your family safe. Wipe down surfaces and objects in your home with alcohol swabs or disinfectants. Pay close attention to doorknobs, light switches, and toys. This may aid in reducing the risk of viral transmission between family members. Hand Hygiene Hand hygiene is important. Teach your kids the importance of proper handwashing. Rub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Encourage them to wash their hands after using the restroom. Particularly before eating, and after being in public places. If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol. Cover the Mouth The most common ways that the flu travels other than touch is through airborne droplets. Teach your children to cough or sneeze into their elbows instead of their hands or tissues. This helps prevent the spread of respiratory droplets containing the virus. Avoid Close Contact Limit close contact with friends and family members who are sick. If your child is showing flu-like symptoms, let them rest at home. It\u2019s important to prevent spreading the virus to others. When at school, make sure they keep their masks on to avoid catching anything from their classmates or teachers. Stay Informed Stay up to date on local news and public health announcements. If there's a flu outbreak in your area, be prepared. Follow the guidelines, and be careful about attending public events such as parties and get-togethers. Boost Your Immune System Take care of your family\u2019s diet. Be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Supplement with vitamins and minerals if you have to. Consume an adequate amount of pre and probiotics as these are important for maintaining your immune system. Additionally, avoid processed foods that cause inflammation. Let\u2019s Fight the Flu Season Together The October influenza season in Malaysia is a crucial time for parents. Remember to take the necessary precautions and educating your children about hygiene practices. Hopefully you can reduce their risk of contracting and spreading the flu virus. You can always get vaccinated, as it is one of the most effective ways to protect your family during the flu season. But it\u2019s understandable if it\u2019s not something you\u2019d like for yourself or your family. Stay healthy, stay informed, and together, we can navigate this influenza season safely! Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!