Cantabrians urged to look after themselves as flu season hits hard

Canterbury is continuing to experience a significant wave of influenza, with 455 hospitalisations relating to complications from influenza already this year.

Canterbury DHB is reminding people that there are some simple ways to stop the spread and look after themselves and their loved ones this flu season.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink, says if you get the flu, the best way to help prevent spreading it are to stay home from school or work if you’re sick.

“Proper coughing and sneezing etiquette is also key. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your elbow if you’re caught short, and wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.

“You should call your general practice team 24/7 for advice rather than visiting in person. Follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse after hours for free health advice,” says Dr Pink.

Canterbury DHB has produced a brochure called “Coping with the flu at home”. It contains practical advice for people on caring for someone with the flu, including:

  • how to treat the symptoms at home;
  • danger signs to look out for, especially in young children and babies; and
  • when to seek medical advice and where to go.

Flu vaccine supplies are now limited thanks to a great response from Cantabrians. However they are still available from GPs and some pharmacists for the following priority groups:

  • people over 65;
  • pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy;
  • those with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes respiratory disease (including asthma that requires regular preventive therapy), kidney disease and most cancers; and
  • children aged four years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Source: Canterbury District Health Board media release (3rd July 2019).

Published on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019, under News
Page last updated: 03/07/2019

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