Steep rise in flu cases warning

Story appeared in: Review | July 9th, 2018

FLU cases are on the rise across Western Sydney.
Figures from NSW Health, show just 12 confirmed influenza cases in the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) from June 11-17, however a three-fold jump to 35 was recorded in the following week.
The latest Influenza Surveillance Weekly Report published on Friday, showed a further 59 confirmed presentations between June 25 and July 1 and NSW Health is urging parents to take advantage of plentiful supplies of the State Government's free flu vaccine for under five-year-olds.
NSW Health's director communicable diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said that while there were less than a quarter of the 946 cases this time last year, there were signs that flu case numbers were starting to climb.
"Children and young adults are particularly susceptible to this influenza A strain which first emerged as pandemic influenza in 2009," she said.
"Vaccination is your best protection against flu and while it's still possible to get the virus, the severity and likelihood of being hospitalised will be reduced if you have your flu shot. The children's vaccine is readily available across the state."
Dr Sheppeard added that free flu vaccines were also available for people at high risk in all age groups including those aged 65 years and over.
"If you haven't had your flu shot, call ahead to your GP to check they have the right vaccine for your age group in stock or give them time to order more vaccines," she said.
Good hygiene habits also help prevent the spread of influenza and other infections including cleaning your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and staying home when sick.

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 138448 | Viewcount: 2098