How is Queensland preparing for this year?

Brisbane flu season

Editorial credit: Martin Valigursky

The dreaded flu season is nearing and following 2017 where Queensland saw the most hospital admissions within the last five years – locals are bracing themselves.

As usual, many are taking extra precautions this time of year to fight off getting a cold or the flu.

Although, it’s undeniable there’s been more discussion around the flu vaccination than previous years with cases already on the rise.

How is Queensland preparing for the flu season?

After last year’s horrific flu season, the Queensland Government has taken action and is offering free flu vaccinations for children under the age of five and those aged over 65.

These vaccinations will continue to be easily accessible at chemists or local doctors – you simply need to make a booking.

However, it’s noticeable that other states across the nation are preparing for the flu season a little more.

For example, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has assured families across the state that $50 million will be assigned to managing the expected increase in patients with the flu this winter.

This money will go to the largest health services and has already been set aside in the new budget for 2018/19.

As well as this, a further $3.5 million will also be used to provide children and those over 65 with free flu shots like Queensland.

Will this flu season really be that bad?

The World Health Organisation has recently announced a type of flu now considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world was in fact started in Brisbane.

This finding was addressed quickly by experts as it was also revealed the four-strain vaccination available will include the influenza B bug and hopefully lower the number of flu cases from last year’s numbers.

According to the University of Queensland, researchers have put 2017’s aggressive flu season down to the vaccinations not being adequate in dealing with the flu’s mutation, as well as the increased cases of the elderly contracting the virus.

immunisation coalition

Image: Immunisation Coalition

To prepare for the flu season, there are simply ways to avoid spreading the illness.

These include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough;
  • Stay home when you’re sick;
  • Wash your hands (especially when handling food).

It’s also recommended to consult with your regular doctor about getting the flu shot, particularly the elderly and young children as they are most vulnerable to the effects of the flu.

Have you already suffered from the flu this year? Let us know.