The number of flu cases in Queensland this year has now hit 24,605 – nearly 5000 in the last week alone – prompting the State’s Health Department to ask locals to help in the fight against the virus.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young has asked us to do the “Flu Five”.
“In addition to getting vaccinated, there are practical steps we can all take to avoid catching the flu or to limit its spread, and it can be as simple as staying at home when sick,” she said.
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THE “FLU FIVE”
- Get vaccinated
- Consider seeing a GP or calling a nurse for free on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), instead of going to an emergency department
- Wash your hands
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover your cough with a tissue or your arm
“The best defence against the flu is to get a vaccination. It is never too late to vaccinate – this flu season is not yet over. The current vaccine provides protection against four strains of the flu that Queenslanders are experiencing this year,” said Dr Young.
“Other easy steps include using proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which means cough into a tissue or your arm if you don’t have tissues handy, and throw used tissues away immediately.
“Also make sure you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand gel frequently, when in potential contact with the flu virus.”
Dr Young said the vaccine was safe for anyone over the age of six months, and this includes pregnant women, with the vaccine protecting both mother and child from the effects of an influenza infection.
“Influenza can be deadly for some people in high-risk categories, so it’s crucial we all play our part to help stop it spreading and reduce its effects on the community,” she said.