FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 July, 2012
UPDATE: Keeping flu free this winter
In response to the H3N2 outbreak in Christchurch, Auckland Regional Public Health Service is monitoring influenza activity in the Auckland region.
Influenza is not a notifiable disease, therefore it is impossible to know for certain how many people in the region currently have influenza. Reports from general practitioners in the region suggest that numbers are at about the level expected for this time of year. The scale of the issues affecting the Canterbury does not appear to be affecting the Auckland region at this time.
There are various ways that the public can protect themselves and reduce the spread of illness:
- Get the flu jab at their GP
- Practice good cough etiquette by covering coughs, using tissues and disposing of them correctly
- Proper hand sanitation routines are recommended : wash hands regularly using soap and water, and dry hands on a clean dry towel
- Those with influenza like symptoms should stay at home and seek medical advice
Influenza vaccination is available free of charge to at-risk groups, FOR THE EXTENDED TIME UNTIL AUGUST 31, 2011. Vulnerable groups include older people, young children, pregnant women and those who live with chronic illness. For those who do not fit into the ‘at-risk’ category immunisation is available but a charge may be incurred. Immunisation increases protection against specific influenza and as with all immunisations, does not offer 100% protection.
Auckland Regional Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr William Rainger states “though influenza can become a serious illness, it is important to remember that this is the time of year that colds and influenza like illness are common. If you are worried about your health or the health of someone in your care do not hesitate to contact your GP for advice.”
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