Residents urged to act as hundreds struck down with flu

WEST Moreton Health is urging residents to get their flu vaccines now, with more than 430 confirmed cases of flu being recorded and 24 people hospitalised.

Flu season is about to start and the influenza vaccine, which is available now, is the best defence against the flu not only for you but those around you too.

West Moreton Health's Public Health Unit Physician Vicki Slinko said now is the time for people to act "to provide protection in time for the flu season which usually falls from June to October, peaking in August and September".

"Some members of the community, including those aged over 65 years, children from six months to under five years, pregnant women, people with some medical conditions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over six months, are more at risk from the flu and its complications, so are eligible to receive the vaccination for free under the National Immunisation Program," she said.

"While the phrase "it's just the flu" might not sound serious, the true influenza disease is serious and potentially life-threatening, so getting the flu shot is very important.

"The flu is spread easily through sneezing and coughing, and a person can spread the flu to others before they even know they have caught it themselves, and so I encourage everyone to talk to their GP about getting the flu shot."

To help protect yourself from the flu you should get vaccinated, wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes and stay at home if you are sick.

If you're concerned about the flu, visit your GP or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).