Safe­guard against flu, doc­tors warn

Great Southern Herald - - News - Tayler Neale

Af­ter one in five Great South­ern res­i­dents with the flu last win­ter re­quired hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion, health au­thor­i­ties have warned peo­ple to get vac­ci­nated this year.

The flu sea­son typ­i­cally runs from May to Oc­to­ber, with a peak in Au­gust.

The virus can cause mild to se­ri­ous ill­ness and WACHS Great South­ern pub­lic health physi­cian Dr Marisa Gilles high­lighted the im­por­tance of the vac­ci­na­tion.

“Flu ac­tiv­ity most com­monly peaks in be­tween Au­gust and Septem­ber and flu vac­cine pro­tec­tion may start to de­cline from three to four months fol­low­ing vac­ci­na­tion,” she said.

“Last year, 21 per cent of the 215 peo­ple di­ag­nosed with in­fluenza in the Great South­ern re­gion re­quired hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion.”

Dr Gilles said the win­ter virus could spread eas­ily.

“Flu is a highly con­ta­gious and po­ten­tially se­ri­ous dis­ease that mainly spreads by droplets pro­duced when an in­fected per­son talks, coughs or sneezes,” she said.

“Droplets can also set­tle onto sur­faces such as com­puter desks, door­knobs and tele­phones, and can then in­fect peo­ple when passed from the hands to the mouth or nose.”

Dr Gilles stressed the im­por­tance of be­ing vac­ci­nated.

“In­fluenza can be se­ri­ous, not only for in­di­vid­u­als and their fam­i­lies who con­tract it but also for the or­gan­i­sa­tions they work for and the peo­ple they care for,” she said.

“The best way to pro­tect against the flu is to get vac­ci­nated. You can’t catch flu from the vac­cine as it does not con­tain any live virus.”

Last year, 21 per cent of the 215 peo­ple di­ag­nosed with in­fluenza in the Great South­ern re­gion re­quired hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion. Dr Marisa Gilles

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