After hours doctors in Mackay were met with a flurry of flu cases across the Easter and Anzac Day holidays, responding to 25 calls.

House Call Doctor attended patients with flu-like symptoms in North Mackay, Beaconsfield and Eimeo over the course of a week, an indication of the active nature of this year’s influenza season.

Dr Ryan Harvey, of House Call Doctor, said the flu-like symptoms corresponded with a change in weather conditions.

“As winter fast approaches, we urge our patients be aware of the risk of contracting the flu and recommend they take preventative measures to stay on top of their general health,” Dr Harvey said.

“The influenza virus is an airborne illness, most commonly passed on when people cough and release small droplets into the air.

“These droplets contain the virus and can land on people or surfaces, where it can easily be picked up. It is highly contagious.”

More than 20,000 cases of influenza have been reported in Australia this year, to April 26, and Queensland’s flu rate in summer was the highest it had been in five year.

House Call Doctor general manager James Wood said the service made 3500 home visits over the Easter and Anzac Day break across Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

He said it was important for the service to operate over holiday periods to help ease the burden on emergency departments and general practitioners.

“House Call Doctor visits patients in their own home, when their regular GP is closed,” Mr Wood said.

“Many GPs have had a well-earned rest with the public holidays and that’s where we’ve been able to help fill the gap so that those who fall ill aren’t forced to attend hospital Emergency Departments.”

House Call Doctor has made 600,000 visits to homes, hotels, aged care facilities and nursing homes since it started in April 2015.

Influenza vaccinations are available with your GP or pharmacist.

Original Source: Daily Mercury | 30 April 2019