Ex­perts pro­mote flu shots

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

With flu sea­son fast ap­proach­ing, the WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice is urg­ing Pil­bara res­i­dents to get their an­nual flu vac­ci­na­tion to avoid the spike in se­ri­ous cases as the re­gion saw last year.

The Pil­bara was hard hit by flu in 2016, when the re­gion suf­fered three times the nor­mal lev­els of flu for the sea­son and about 20 per cent of the 424 res­i­dents di­ag­nosed had to be treated in hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to WACHS statis­tics. A large pro­por­tion of cases were also re­ported to be of the A/H1N1 va­ri­ety, more com­monly called swine flu.

WACHS Pil­bara public health physi­cian Dr Heather Lyt­tle urged res­i­dents to get 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 sin­gle best way to pro­tect against the flu is to get vac­ci­nated each year.”

“The vac­cine will pre­vent most peo­ple from catch­ing the in­fec­tion, but if you do still catch the in­fec­tion it will en­sure that the disease will not be as se­vere as it would have been with­out vac­ci­na­tion.”

Free flu vac­cines are avail­able to peo­ple vul­ner­a­ble to se­vere strains of flu, in­clud­ing in­dige­nous Aus­tralians, chil­dren un­der five and the el­derly.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Phar­macy HELP and 777 Kar­ratha phar­ma­cist Tar­quin White ad­min­is­ters flu vac­cine to lo­cal res­i­dent Clan­cie Web­ster.

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