The flu is on the rise late this year - it is not too late to get vaccinated

The 2018 flu season for the nation has been a mild one and for the NT, it has been a very mild flu season … to date.

However there has been an increase in flu in the Top End in the past 2 to 3 weeks which may herald the start of a very late flu season for the NT.

Flu causes high fevers, runny nose, headache, severe muscle and joint aches. It can also cause a cough, sore throat and gastro-intestinal upset. “Often people will end up in bed for several days missing work or not able to enjoy their holidays. Unfortunately some people get severe complications and need to be admitted to hospital,” Dr Krause explained.  “Since the start of November, 78 cases have been notified to the Centre for Disease Control and over 40% of those have been hospitalised”.

“The virus spreads easily from person to person particularly via the hands, as well as through the air, so it is important that everyone covers their cough, by coughing into their upper arm or if using tissues disposing of them in a bin immediately, and wash their hands regularly”, encouraged Dr Krause. “It is important people stay home from work or school if unwell”.

Along with good hygiene, vaccination is the best way to prevent yourself from getting sick. Getting vaccinated also helps the community. With more people vaccinated there is less chance for the illness to spread to others in the community who might suffer more serious problems from the flu.

“Vaccination is particularly important for those most likely to become seriously ill from flu, including pregnant women, anyone with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney or lung diseases, Aboriginal people and the elderly.”

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 funded 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.

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

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

Last updated: 22 November 2018