Hamad Medical Corporation
In Doha, Qatar, health experts from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have issued a stark warning about the seriousness of the flu, emphasizing that it can lead to hospitalization and even death. Last year, over 760 individuals were hospitalized in Qatar due to flu-related complications, as stated by Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, the Medical Director of HMC’s Communicable Disease Center. Dr. Al Maslamani emphasized that the flu is not just a severe cold; it is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses affecting the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. To combat this, the flu vaccine is being offered for free this year to help the community build immunity before the flu season begins. Dr. Al Maslamani stressed the importance of flu vaccination, especially for individuals aged six months and above, particularly those at higher risk, such as pregnant women, individuals over 50, those with chronic conditions, and young children. Additionally, she recommended everyday preventive actions, such as avoiding sick people, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent handwashing, to curb the spread of germs causing respiratory illnesses like the flu. Flu vaccines are readily available at primary healthcare centers, more than 50 private and semi-government clinics, and can even be administered during Outpatients Department appointments at HMC hospitals. Dr. Al Maslamani emphasized the collective responsibility in fighting the flu, urging everyone to get vaccinated and help protect the vulnerable members of the community.