With flu season fast on the way, Goldfields-Midwest Medicare Local’s Chronic Disease Nurse, Paula Wynne, is urging anyone at risk of flu infection to visit their GP and get vaccinated.
Influenza (usually called flu) is a highly contagious disease and is caused by a virus that can be spread through people coughing and sneezing as well as by touching infected surfaces.
“The flu is different to a cold and symptoms include fever, dry cough, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, headache, sore throat and a stuffy or runny nose,” Paula explains.
"People at high risk of severe consequences of influenza infection are people aged 65 and over and pregnant women.
“The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women and provides protection for themselves and their new born baby for the first six months after birth."
Influenza causes more deaths than accidents on roads in Australia and there are over 18,000 hospitalisations each year attributable to influenza.
Free influenza vaccine is available for Australians aged 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 15 years and over, all pregnant women and all Australians aged six months of age and above with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe influenza.