There have been more than 144,000 cases of influenza reported so far in Australia this year with the number set to rise. With a surge in flu activity expected, this will bring about more hospitalisations.
Ensure you're aware of the difference between the flu, a cold and COVID-19 with our guide here.
Health professionals are urging people not to get complacent with basic public health measures. This includes handwashing, covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing, and keeping vaccinations up to date. As life slowly returns back to normal, it is crucial that individuals stay vigilant in order to keep flu numbers at bay, whilst adjusting to life with COVID. Here are some tips to help.
Get vaccinated if possible
COVID-19 has posed substantial challenges to preventative interventions. This means that due to lockdowns, social distancing, and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, reports have highlighted a drop in flu vaccinations compared to previous years. This in turn has had an impact on herd immunity levels, meaning that the population will be more susceptible to catching the flu when flu season hits.
It is recommended that people still continue to get the seasonal flu vaccine in order to prevent hospital admissions, reduce severity of illness and help stop transmission rates. If you have any questions or concerns you should discuss these with your GP or approved vaccinator.
Several Australian states have introduced a free flu vaccination program for all its residents. More info for each state with a free flu vaccination program can be found here:
Self-isolating when symptomatic
If you have symptoms suggestive of flu, you should remain at home and avoid going to work or to study until your symptoms resolve. This helps protect others, especially those who may not be able to be vaccinated. If you are unsure use the symptom checker or start a chat with us and we can connect you to one of our trained nurses who can check your symptoms.
Staying careful and hygienic in high-risk settings
Proper hand washing or use of hand sanitiser and social distancing has all become standard practice during the pandemic. This has not only helped control the spread of COVID-19, but it has also helped reduce the spread of influenza as well.
As restrictions ease, it's important to keep those aforementioned COVID-safe practices going, in order to help keep yourself and others safe from the flu (and COVID-19).
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.