It’s that time of year again – the dreaded flu season.
As the temperature cools, families around the state will face fevers, sore throats, headaches, muscle aches, pains and more.
So far, 2018 has already had its fair share of flu sufferers with more than 4193* confirmed cases.
This year’s flu season is so rampant, experts believe it will dwarf 2017’s dire flu season, with more than 30 people being diagnosed each day.
Last year, more than 56,000 people contracted the illness, with children under the age of five and adults aged over 65 regarded most at risk.
To avoid the potential spread of the virus in 2018, the Queensland Government has offered free vaccines to all children under the age of five and a strengthened vaccine for those over 65.
“Children are super spreaders and tend to spread the flu more,” Queensland Health Chief Health Officer Dr Janette Young said.
“So, for the benefit of their families, the community, childcare centres and so forth, we thought this was a good group to vaccinate.”
Queensland Health will also roll out 15 rapid diagnosis machines in hospitals, which can diagnose flu in several hours as opposed to days.
What is influenza?
Influenza, or the flu, is a highly-contagious disease caused by infection from Influenza type A or B (or, rarely, C) virus. These viruses infect the upper airways and lungs but can also affect other parts of the body.
These will usually appear one to three days after becoming infected.
- Sore throat.
- Dry cough.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Tiredness or extreme exhaustion.
Treatment and prevention
- Bed rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Use a tissue, or the inside of your arm, when you cough and sneeze.
- Stay at least one metre away from people who have flu-like symptoms.
*Information from Queensland Health May 2018.