Take action against the flu

Take action against the flu


Wednesday 11 July 2012

Western Australians should join together to fight the worst influenza outbreak since the 2009 global swine flu pandemic, the AMA (WA) said today.

 
AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said the rate of influenza presentations to GPs had more than doubled over recent weeks. Perth’s emergency departments had also seen a spike in flu cases.

 

“There is no better time to remember standard cough and cold courtesies. Certainly, besides the flu vaccination, this will be your strongest defence,” Dr Choong said.

 

“People need to take every precaution to prevent the spread of flu, definitely for themselves and for the sake of the community.”

 

Good health tips:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and always aim into the crook of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues to blow your nose and never reuse
  • Regularly clean your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitisers
  • Do not share personal items such as drink bottles, cutlery, crockery and towels
  • Avoid crowded public places if you are unwell
  • Do not send children who are ill to school and daycare centres
  • Stay home from work if you are unwell
  • Clean commonly-used areas such as kitchen benches, vanity counters, tables and fridge doors.

 

Dr Choong advised people who have contracted influenza to keep their fluid intake up, take regular paracetamol and visit their GPs if they feel their symptoms are deteriorating.

 

He added that certain high-risk groups within the community needed to be particularly cautious: “People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease and diabetes need to take extra precautions during flu season.”

 

The influenza vaccine is available free to:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged from six months to under five years of age in WA
  • People with an underlying medical condition
  • People aged 65 years and older
  • Aboriginal Western Australians aged 15 years and older
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