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Cantabrians urged to look after themselves over flu season

3 July 2019

Cantabrians urged to look after themselves as flu season hits region hard this year

Canterbury is continuing to experience a significant wave of influenza, with 455 hospitalisations relating to complications from influenza already this year.

Canterbury DHB is reminding people that there are some simple ways to stop the spread and look after themselves and their loved ones this flu season.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink, says if you get the flu, the best way to help prevent spreading it are to stay home from school or work if you’re sick.

“Proper coughing and sneezing 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.

“You should call your general practice team 24/7 for advice rather than visiting in person. After hours, follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse for free health advice,” says Dr Pink.

Canterbury DHB has produced a ‘Coping with the flu at home’ brochure, containing practical advice for people on caring for someone with the flu, 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.

The ‘Coping with the flu at home’ brochure is available online in the following languages: English, Māori, Hindi, Korean, Samoan, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Tagalog.

Thanks to a great response from Cantabrians, flu vaccine supplies are now limited but they are still available from GPs and some pharmacists for the following priority groups:

· people over 65

· 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.

ENDS

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