• 10/1/2023

    Doha 1 October 2023: The flu virus can cause serious illness and lead to hospitalization and even death – with more than 760 people being hospitalized due to the flu in Qatar in 2022, a Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) expert has warned. 

    “The flu is not just a bad cold – it’s a serious illness,” according to Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of HMC’s Communicable Disease Center. “Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. More than 760 people were hospitalized in Qatar last year for flu and its complications.”

    Dr. Al Maslamani said the flu vaccine was being offered for free this year so that members of the community can build immunity ahead of this year’s flu season.

    Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death,” Dr. Al Maslamani said. “The circulating flu viruses change from year to year which is why it is important to receive the flu vaccine annually.

    She said everyone aged six months and above should get the flu vaccine, especially those in high risk groups such as pregnant women, people aged over 50, people with chronic conditions and young children.

    “In addition to getting the free flu vaccine, it is also recommended that you take everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.”

    Dr. Al Maslamani reminded people that the flu vaccine has been made available at all primary healthcare centers and more than 50 private and semi-government clinics.

    “You can also receive your flu shot on your scheduled Outpatients Department appointment at HMC hospitals,” Dr. Al Maslamani said. “To reduce the spread of the influenza and the risk of serious complications, and help protect the most vulnerable in our communities, it is more important than ever to ensure that you are vaccinated this year – remember that fighting the flu starts with each and every one of us.”

    More information, including where to get the flu vaccine in Qatar and FAQs about the flu can be found on the campaign website - www.fighttheflu.qa