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Spread the facts, not the flu

Queensland Health is urging Queenslanders to get serious about protecting themselves, their loved ones and anyone else they come into contact with against the flu.

Queensland’s Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said influenza is not the same as a common cold and can sometimes lead to serious complications.

“In 2016, there were 23,261 laboratory confirmed influenza notifications in Queensland, resulting in 3,197 public hospital admissions, of which 402 were admitted to ICU,” said Dr Sonya Bennett, Acting Chief Health Officer.

“And so far this year (as at 14 May 2017), there have been 3,800 notifications of laboratory confirmed influenza; with 527 admissions to public hospitals, including  47 to ICU.”

The ‘Spread the facts, not the flu’ campaign, which has kicked off this week, reminds Queenslanders to:

  • Get vaccinated – vaccination each year is the best protection against flu.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid spreading the flu.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly – it takes at least 15 seconds to wash your hands properly.
  • Limit the spread of germs by using a tissue or coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Dispose of used tissues as the flu virus can live outside the human body for a number of hours.

“We all know the flu is highly contagious and primarily spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” Dr Bennett said.

“When a person has the flu and coughs or sneezes, the droplets containing the virus are expelled rapidly and can travel one to two metres.”

“The droplets then settle onto surfaces, such as telephones and door knobs, and can be passed from hands to the nose, mouth or eyes.

“People with influenza can be infectious to others from 24 hours before they display symptoms, until a week after the start of symptoms.

“The good news is you can help protect yourself and others by getting vaccinated and practicing good hygiene.”

Media contact: +61 7 3234 1439

Last updated: 20 November 2017