Dodge catching the dreaded flu with these simple steps

Young woman having flu and blowing her nose at handkerchief Courtesy: SunshineCoast News

FLU season may have peaked but Queensland Health is still urging people to take active steps to help reduce the risk of influenza.

Queensland Health Medical Director of Communicable Diseases Branch Dr Heidi Carroll said there were simple measures everyone could take to help avoid catching or spreading influenza during this year’s flu season.

“This week there have been 4,554 new notified cases of influenza throughout Queensland, which brings the total to 29,996 this year-to-date,” Dr Carroll said.

“This time last week we reported 4,749 new cases, although these weekly notifications subsequently increase as further test results come through.

“When compared to the same period in the previous week, figures have decreased.

“The annual figure has already over-taken recent years with 23,285 notified cases for the entire year in 2016 and 28,059 in 2015.”

Dr Carroll said the Queensland Health launch of a Flu Five social media campaign last week outlined some of these simple flu prevention measures to Queenslanders.

“Although the best defence is to be vaccinated, there are also practical steps we can all take that reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading the flu.

“Steps such as staying at home when sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, washing hands, seeing a GP or calling a nurse for free on 13 HEALTH, and getting vaccinated all reduce the risk.”

The reach for Queensland Health flu messaging on social media this flu season has been over 600,000, with another 63,000 social media users being reached in the last week with the launch of the ‘flu five’ social media campaign.

LATEST FLU NUMBERS

. 29,996 flu notifications so far this year

. 4,554 new confirmed flu cases in the last reporting week (21-27 August)

. 3,225 public hospital admissions across the state for influenza, and 353 of those required intensive care in 2017

GET YOUR FREE IMMUNISATION

Queenslanders eligible for the government-funded flu vaccine can access it from their doctor or immunisation provider.

Those eligible for the funded vaccine are:

. pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy

. persons 65 years of age or older

. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 5 years

. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 15 years of age or older

. People six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

All other Queenslanders can obtain the influenza vaccination from their doctor, immunisation provider or some community pharmacies.

For more details, phone 13 HEALTH, your GP or immunisation provider.

Source: https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/dodge-catching-the-dreaded-flu-with-these-simple-s/3217703/