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Influenza is avoidable - vaccinate!

Queensland Health marketing research has identified that only 60 per cent of people believe influenza is avoidable.

The research undertaken earlier this year uncovered this when participants were asked if they believed the ‘flu was avoidable.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said that people were also asked what they believed to be the best options to prevent contracting influenza, and only 43 per cent considered vaccination as an option to prevent influenza.

"It is important that Queenslanders are aware that being vaccinated gives you the single best protection against influenza by building immunity to the virus and preventing transmission of the virus to other people," Dr Young said.

"It’s just a few minutes of your time and it saves you from the risk of possibly becoming very sick if you do indeed catch influenza.

"You need to be vaccinated every year to keep yourself protected as influenza strains change annually."

Dr Young went on to say that only three per cent of those surveyed considered staying at home if they had influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, muscle aches and fatigue.

"If you are sick, please stay at home and avoid public places. This includes schools, work, public transport and shopping centres.

"Influenza is usually spread by droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes, or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

"Some of the most common surfaces for influenza transmission include phones, keyboards, door handles and rails in busses and trains and can survive on some for several hours.

"If you continue on out and about while sick with influenza, you not only limit the time it will take for you to get better, you put others at risk of contracting the virus.

"You also increase your likelihood of having to take more paid or unpaid sick leave.

"See your GP if you are at all concerned about your symptoms, in a high risk group, or have a cough and high fever (38 degrees Celsius or more) that is not improving."

Last updated: 27 May 2015