West Coasters urged to look after themselves as influenza on the rise across the region

Monday 15 July 2019Media release2 minutes to read

There has been a rise in influenza across the West Coast over the past month, with at least 14 people with influenza needing hospitalisation due to complications such as pneumonia.

West Coast DHB is reminding people that there are some simple ways to stop the spread of influenza and other respiratory infections and to look after themselves and their loved ones this winter.

West Coast Medical Officer of Health, Dr Cheryl Brunton, says if you get the flu, the best way to help prevent spreading it is to stay home from school or work if you are sick. It’s also important to try and keep your home as warm and dry as possible.

Proper cough and sneeze 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.

If you need medical advice, call your general practice team 24/7 first rather than visiting in person. After hours, follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse for free health advice.

If you’re caring for someone with the flu, the coping with the flu at home brochure contains some practical advice, including:

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

If you’re in one of the following priority groups and have not yet had your free flu vaccination, you should contact your general practice team to discuss getting vaccinated:

  • people aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women (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
  • children aged four years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

A limited supply of vaccine is still available for people in these groups.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 15 July 2019

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