The Lebanese Pulmonary Society launches the campaign “Flu is not just a cold”

Vaccination is the most effective tool to reduce potential complications among the high-risk groups

In her mission to increase awareness surrounding seasonal influenza and to advocate for preventive measures, the Lebanese Pulmonary Society  in Lebanon (LPS), in partnership with Abbott, a leading healthcare company worldwide, launched a campaign titled “Flu is not just a cold.” The campaign aims to highlight the importance of vaccination as an effective measure to reduce potential complications from the influenza virus, especially among the high-risk groups and was announced during a press conference held in Key Aparthotel in the presence of specialists from the society, representatives from the company, and journalists.

This campaign includes an awareness video that was filmed and posted on the social media platforms to shed light on the misconception of the seasonal influenza, its serious impact and possible complications on patients’ health, in addition to the importance of vaccination as a preventive measure. It will also contain informative posts, interviews with specialists, that will be posted on the social media platforms of the LPS, in addition to educational flyers to be distributed in centers and clinics highlighting medical information about Influenza.

On this note, the President of the Lebanese Pulmonary Society, Professor George Juvelikian stated: “Influenza is not just a cold as people assume, it is a highly infectious respiratory disease that could cause serious complications in high-risk groups, which can lead to hospitalization. He then added: “Influenza can also affect anyone regardless of their age, hence the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccination among all groups but especially for those at risk and children in specific since they have 6 times higher risk compared to adults. When a child catches the flu, the possibility of spreading the virus to the whole family is high, including the elderly, therefore vaccination is set to be the safest and most effective way alongside other preventative measures for protection, and it takes just a few minutes.” He then concluded by saying:” Healthcare specialists are always ready to provide people with all necessary information about influenza vaccine so don’t hesitate to consult them”.

In her turn Doctor Celine Baaklini, Head of department of pulmonary-critical care-Bellevue medical center and Head of division ICU at Lebanese University stated: “With the advent of autumn, raising awareness about the risks and potential complications of seasonal influenza that affects one billion people annually is highly needed.” “Influenza has a significant economic burden on the patients’ health, which is reflected by the high hospitalization costs incurred by the patients as well as the whole healthcare sector. Among the necessary preventive measures, influenza vaccine can limit the disease spread and reduce these burdens.”

As for Professor Pierre Bou Kahlil – Head of pulmonary and critical care at AUBMC, he stressed on the importance of spreading awareness about ways to prevent seasonal influenza, most notably vaccination, which reduces the severity of symptoms and the rate of hospitalization among the high-risk groups”.

“The groups that are identified as high-risk groups are children under five years old, elder people especially over 65, healthcare workers, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases such as asthma, heart and vascular diseases, and diabetes. The World Health Organization also recommends annual influenza vaccination to increase protection against the most prevalent strains of influenza during the season”.

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