Record-low Warwick flu season amid pandemic
WARWICK may have been knocked around by the coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak could be saving the Rose City from its usual flu season.
This week's Queensland Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report revealed the Darling Downs Health region has confirmed only 144 cases of the flu so far this year, less than a third the usual rate.
According to Condamine Medical Centre GP Lynton Hudson, Warwick could have the pandemic and its strict hygiene measures to thank for the record-low.
"I think we're pretty prepared for (flu season) actually, I think we've actually noticed less infections," Dr Hudson said.
"When you get the cold snap, you usually see a whole lot of people coming in, whereas I don't think we've seen that this year.
"It's the good old boring handwashing and hygiene. It's a simple thing and makes such a difference, and we can't let that slip now."
Dr Hudson cautioned against Warwick residents becoming complacent following the news, especially as restrictions continue to ease.
"I am concerned about coronavirus still, and obviously we're seeing that second outbreak in Melbourne and Victoria," he said.
"One of the problems I'm really worried about is we'll just get coronavirus fatigue and feel like it's too hard, but I think we need to keep doing the things we've been doing here.
"The second thing that's always a concern is they don't present early enough with their symptoms, which could lead to passing (the virus) on."
The Condamine Medical Centre's respiratory clinic has remained open throughout the height of the pandemic, enabling those with coronavirus symptoms to be tested without entering their regular clinic.
A Darling Downs and West Moreton Public Health Network spokeswoman said testing rates were remaining quite high, even as Queensland recorded continuously low transmission rates.
"There are currently six respiratory clinics open across the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN region," she said.
"To date, the respiratory clinics have seen over 5,000 people and tested 79 per cent of these people.
"To keep being successful in minimising the spread of coronavirus, it is really important that anyone in the community who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus go and get tested."
The PHN stressed the importance of anyone displaying cold, flu, or fever symptoms to get tested for coronavirus at the Warwick Respiratory Clinic.
For more information or to book an appointment, call the Condamine Medical Centre on (07) 4666 9666.