The worst of the Gold Coast’s flu season, which has taken a heavy toll on workers and seen massive numbers of people asking for help at local hospitals, appears to be easing, however the Department of Health is still urging people to take precautions.
This year nearly 30,000 Queenslanders were struck down by the disease but Queensland Health Medical Director, Dr Heidi Carroll, said there are simple measures everyone can take to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
“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,” Dr Carroll said.
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“Steps such as staying at home when sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, washing hands, seeing a GP, and getting vaccinated all reduce the risk.
“This week there have been 4,554 new notified cases of influenza throughout Queensland, which brings the total to 29,996 so far this year.
“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.”
Some Gold Coasters are eligible for the government-funded influenza vaccine from their doctor or healthcare professional; those eligible 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.
Otherwise you can get the flu vaccination from your doctor or some community pharmacies.
For more details phone 13 SICK (13 43 25 84).