Centre for Disease Control - influenza outbreak in the Top End continues

The seasonal influenza outbreak across the Top End of the Northern Territory is continuing.

Since the beginning of November, there have been more than 500 cases of laboratory-confirmed flu notified to the Department of Health and over 200 of those people have been hospitalised.

Dr Alison Maclean, Director of Medical Services, Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), said the hospital has been managing the increase in admissions due to the outbreak very well.

“Royal Darwin Hospital has enacted the ‘Influenza management during influenza season’ procedures to ensure the outbreak is being managed,” she said.

“Influenza-like illness presentations at RDH are still high and our Infection Management and Prevention Unit will continue to monitor number of admissions to ensure we can maintain patient flow.

“Appropriate infection control standards continue to be implemented throughout RDH to mitigate further spread of influenza at the hospital.”

Symptoms of seasonal flu includes high fevers, runny nose, headache, severe muscle and joint aches. It can also cause a cough, sore throat and gastro-intestinal upset. These symptoms are likely to continue for several days and people end up in bed for several days, missing work or unable to enjoy their holidays.

People who have flu symptoms and who are more at risk of a severe outcome due to chronic disease, pregnancy or old age, or who have increased shortness of breath should seek medical advice.

To prevent further spread across the community, those with symptoms are asked to practice good hygiene including frequent hand washing, coughing into their elbow and avoiding contact with others.

It is not too late to get the 2018 flu vaccine. All eligible people should visit their GP or healthcare provider to receive their FREE vaccination.

Eligible people for the free 2018 influenza vaccine include:

  • Pregnant women – any stage of pregnancy
  • Aboriginal children under 5 years of age
  • Aboriginal people over 15 years of age
  • All people with a chronic medical condition
  • All people over 65 years of age.

Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone over six months who wants to protect themselves from flu. This can be arranged through your GP, health service or vaccine provider.

For further information about Influenza and the vaccine, please visit the following link:

https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/health-conditions-treatments/viral/influenza

Contact: Tess Nekrasov

Phone: 0427 596 954

Last updated: 14 December 2018