Winter is here and so is the flu season.
Health experts from the Immunisation Coalition warn that influenza is a potentially fatal disease that is estimated to cause more deaths than accidents on Australian roads – between 1500 and 3500 deaths each year. This year’s flu season started early. Already more than 23,600 cases of flu have been confirmed in NSW.
North Coast Primary Health Network has some advice to keep you well over the cooler months.
Get a flu shot
Now is the time to take yourself and your family to your GP or pharmacy to get this year’s flu vaccination. Annual flu shots are recommended for everyone over six months of age.
Free flu vaccines are available from your GP for:
• Pregnant women
• Children under 5 years of age
• Aboriginal people
• Those aged over 65
• People with asthma, diabetes and heart disease
If you have a chronic disease, your GP can also provide advice on how to stay healthy over winter to avoid a hospital stay.
There are also some other ways to stop the spread of colds and flu.
• Avoid close contact with sick people
• Don’t go into work when you are ill
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
After hours help
If you are unwell after hours and need advice, you can call the GP Helpline Monday to Friday from 6pm to 7.30am. The GP Helpline is a free call: 1800 022 222.