The Flu season is peaking early this year, and already Australia has been hit harder by Flu this year than ever before. They have seen record numbers of cases in April, with 56,500 cases — 6 times the previous record high. Already 122 Australians have died, with the youngest being a 3 year old child.
The risks of flu are high. Flu is highly contagious and can have you off work for a week. Complications of the flu can include illnesses like pneumonia, sinus infection, or worsening of other illnesses like asthma or heart failure. Worsening of flu complications can lead to death.
The Influenza virus kills also more people in New Zealand than those kills on the roads, with estimates being 500 people die each year from flu. The elderly, those who are pregnant, those with chronic illness and babies and children are the most at risk.
Flu is already circulating in New Zealand however this Australian outbreak can easily spread to New Zealand considering the amount of travel between our countries — we cannot be complacent. The Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner has said “There’s only a bit of water between us and Australia, someone just needs to carry a respiratory
illness on a plane and it will spread around NZ.”
You need to have a flu vaccination every year and the protection from the flu vaccination will last for at least the flu season, and up to one year. Each year the flu virus is different so just because you had the vaccine last year doesn’t make you immune — they keep changing. The vaccines are made each year based on the most common flu circulating.
The great news is that the flu strains in this years vaccine are well matched to these outbreaks that are happening here and in Australia. With the worst of winter flu still to come it is very important that you vaccinate if you have not already.
TriEx nurses can still come to your workplace to vaccinate your team, or we have the option of vouchers for small teams or for teams spread out through the country (or a combination of both).
For more information or to book read more here.