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Flu season underway, but there's still time to vaccinate

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says Queensland’s influenza season is officially underway, but it’s not too late to get a flu jab.

“Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” Dr Young said 

“Prevention is one of the most important actions for stopping the spread of the virus. And the single best way to prevent getting the flu is by being vaccinated.

“You need to be vaccinated every year to keep yourself protected because flu strains change annually and you will not be immune to new strains.

“This year’s vaccine is readily available and everyone should have it.’’

Dr Young said recent media reports suggesting Queensland was in the middle of a flu crisis were alarmist and inaccurate.

“While Queensland does have the highest number of notified flu cases in Australia, this is not unusual,” she said.

“In fact, it is testament to our excellent testing and reporting mechanisms that our numbers are the highest in any state.

“Yes, there have been more than 4000 people testing positive for the virus so far this year, but there is certainly no need for people to panic.”

Tips to prevent the spread of flu:

  • Talk to your doctor about being vaccinated.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others; stay at home from work, school and avoid other crowded areas.
  • Wash hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues in a bin and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
Last updated: 9 September 2015