Swine flu now seasonal

NINE cases of the once-dreaded swine flu have been diagnosed in Warwick this flu season but authorities say the presence of the illness should not cause any more concern than other flu seasons.

Public health physician Dr Penny Hutchinson said this year’s flu pattern is similar to that of last years.

“(Swine flu) is now considered to be a seasonal influenza strain of the virus and people should have the same level of concern as they do for any other flu season,” she said.

She said swine flu and Influenza B are the predominant flu strains circulating this year and said both are included in this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine.

Despite the flu season being well and truly under way, Dr Hutchinson said it was not too late to be vaccinated and it was especially important for people of a higher risk.

“Queensland Health provides free influenza vaccine for this group, including pregnant women, people aged 65 years and older, indigenous people aged 15 years and older and anyone six months of age or older with chronic medical conditions or impaired immunity,” she said.

“Not only does vaccination reduce the chances of catching the flu but also the severity of it if you do catch it.”


Tips to protect against flu

  • Washing their hands regularly.
  • Not sharing eating and drinking utensils or share food and drinks.
  • If unwell, protecting other people by covering one’s nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, disposing of the tissue in a rubbish bin after its use and washing the hands.
  • Staying at least a metre away from people who are coughing and sneezing
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces such as tables, benches and fridge doors.

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